Paul L. Caron

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Rutgers Law School Fundraising Dean Files Gender Discrimination And Equal Pay Lawsuit

Law360, Ex-Rutgers Law Fundraising Exec Launches Equal Pay Suit:

Rutgers Logo (2022)A former law school fundraising executive has slammed Rutgers University with a gender discrimination and equal pay lawsuit in New Jersey state court alleging she was improperly paid less than a male counterpart and ultimately fired for complaining about the inequitable treatment.

Robin Todd, who served as assistant dean for development at the Camden campus of Rutgers Law School, said Thursday that she made such complaints for several years before being terminated in recent months under the guise of "restructuring." The university and its fundraising arm, Rutgers University Foundation, are named as defendants in the suit.

"Defendants' claim of 'restructuring' was a pretext for retaliation," the suit says. "In fact, defendants fired plaintiff because of her complaints of gender discrimination and violations of the Equal Pay Act and/or New Jersey Equal Pay Act."

The university hired Todd around November 2015 as the senior director of development for its Camden campus, primarily responsible for fundraising for the law school there, the suit says. Around April 2015, Rutgers had hired Robert Steinbaum as the associate dean for advancement at Rutgers Law School in Newark, and he was mainly responsible for fundraising for the law school at that campus, the suit says.

Todd said she had "significant experience in fundraising and development" at the time of her hiring, but Steinbaum did not when he was hired. However, Steinbaum was offered about $30,000 more in annual pay than Todd, according to the suit. ...

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October 1, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, September 29, 2022

An Empirical Analysis Of The Environmental Law Hiring Market From 2011 - 2022

Alex Erwin (Florida International), So You Want to be an Environmental Law Professor …: An Empirical Analysis of the Environmental Law Hiring Market from 2011 - 2022, 49 Ecology L. Currents __ (2022):

EnvUsing data collected by Professor Sarah Lawsky for her annual entry level hiring report, I analyzed trends in the hiring of environmental law professors (“ELPs”) from 2011 - 2022.

Key findings include:

  • 2022 was a strong year for ELP hiring – 11 ELPs were hired. This made up 9% of the total market.
  • 60% of new ELPs attended a “T-14” school for their initial law degree – this is lower than the percentage of new hires from “T-14” schools across the market as a whole (75%).
  • 92% of new ELPs had a fellowship and/or an additional degree.
  • Additional degrees were more common among new ELPs (79%) than across the market as a whole (58%).
  • Since 2017, 50% of new ELPs possessed a doctorate degree.
  • Clerkships were less common among ELPs (43%) than across the market as a whole (57%).
  • 66% of new ELPs practiced law in some capacity before entering academia.
  • Women made up 60% of ELP hires, while they made up only 46% of hires across the market as a whole

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September 29, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Are Discipline Code Proceedings Another Example Of Racial Disparities In Legal Education?

Andrea Anne Curcio (Georgia State) & Alexis Martinez (Georgia Tech), Are Discipline Code Proceedings Another Example of Racial Disparities in Legal Education?, 22 Md. J. Race Religion Gender & Class __ (2022):

Addressing racism within legal education has historically focused on diversifying the faculty and student body, as well as integrating teaching about institutional and structural racism into the law school curriculum. More recently, law school faculty have begun to focus on creating an inclusive campus culture, which requires looking at all systems and procedures that affect our students' sense of belonging and potential success as students and lawyers. One system that merits this attention is law school disciplinary code proceedings. This Article reviews studies from K-12, undergraduate, and lawyer disciplinary proceedings--all of which have found disparities exist. Given those findings, it is unlikely law school disciplinary code proceedings are a disparity-free zone. Because of the effect of disciplinary code proceedings on students' academic and career trajectories, as well as their emotional well-being, if law schools truly seek to address the institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism within our institutions, this area needs to be explored. 

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September 29, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Subversive Legal Education: Reformist Steps Toward Abolitionist Visions

Christina John (New Jersey Appellate Division), Russell G. Pearce (Fordham), Aundray Jermaine Archer (Legal Aid Society of Westchester County), Sarah Medina Camiscoli (Public Counsel, Peer Defense Project, Yale) & Aron Pines (PEN America Writing for Justice), Subversive Legal Education: Reformist Steps Toward Abolitionist Visions, 90 Fordham L. Rev. 2089 (2022):

Fordham Law ReviewExclusivity in legal education divides traditional scholars, students, and impacted communities most disproportionately harmed by the legal education system. While traditional legal scholars tend to embrace traditional legal education, organic jurists—those who are historically excluded from legal education and those who educate themselves and their communities about their legal rights and realities—often reject the inaccessibility of legal education and its power. This Essay joins a team of community legal writers to imagine a set of principles for subversive legal education. Together, we—formerly incarcerated pro se litigants, paralegals for intergenerational movement lawyering initiatives, first-generation law students and lawyers, persons with years of formal legal expertise, and people who have gained expertise outside of law schools—bring together critical insight about the impact of legal education’s exclusivity and the means by which we have worked to expand access necessary for our survival. The Essay explores the frameworks of movement law, Black feminism, and abolition as impacted people look to reclaim experiences and create tools for subversive legal education that teaches that the law belongs to the people and how they themselves can make and change the law. 

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September 28, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Table Of Links To U.S. Law School Statements On Antiracism/Diversity

Elizabeth Mertz (Wisconsin; Google Scholar) & Frances Tung (American Bar Foundation), Table of Links to U.S. Law School Statements on Antiracism/Diversity:

This Table continues a data-sharing effort begun by Scharf & Merton, and continued by Tung & Mertz in a 2021 SSRN posting as part of a larger project on law school education funded by the American Bar Foundation and directed by Elizabeth Mertz. For this Table, we collected links and information posted on law schools' websites regarding diversity and antiracism. We searched using law schools' websites, Google, and the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project ( 

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September 27, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Deflect, Delay, Deny: A Case Study Of Segregation By Law School Faculty

Briana Rosenbaum (Tennessee), Deflect, Delay, Deny: A Case Study of Segregation by Law School Faculty, 90 Tenn. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Many histories of school desegregation litigation center on the natural protagonists, such as the lawyers and plaintiffs who fought the status quo. Little attention is paid to the role that individual faculty members played in the perpetuation of segregated legal education. When the antagonists in the historiographies do appear, it is usually as anonymous individuals and groups. Thus, “the Board of Regents” refused to change its policy and “the University” denied a person’s application.

But recently discovered and rarely accessed historic documents provide proof of the direct role that some law school faculty members played in the perpetuation of segregation. For example, records at the University of Tennessee College of Law (“UT Law”) reveal that several UT Law faculty members helped to design and implement UT’s segregation strategy, including by acting as legal and policy advisers to state and university officials and by organizing and executing a concerted obfuscation plan to deny black applicants based not on their race, but on “neutral” technicalities. These faculty members are honored and memorialized still today, including through a named professorship and in portraits hanging on campus walls.

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September 24, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Putting The Bar Exam On Constitutional Notice: Cut Scores, Race & Ethnicity, And The Public Good

Scott Johns (Denver), Putting the Bar Exam on Constitutional Notice: Cut Scores, Race & Ethnicity, and the Public Good, 45 Seattle U. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Nothing to see here. Season in and season out, bar examiners, experts, supreme courts, and bar associations seem nonplussed, trapped by what they see as the facts, namely, that the bar exam has no possible weaknesses, at least when it comes to alternative licensure mechanisms, that the bar exam is not to blame for disparate racial impacts that spring from administration of this ritualistic process, and that there are no viable alternatives in the harsh cold world of determining minimal competency for the noble purpose of protecting the public from legal harms. All a lie, of course.

But rather than challenging our assumptions, state bar associations and bar examiners keep going as business as usual. We might even say that it’s just the cost of doing business. Yes, some bar applicants will pay the price, they admit, by not passing bar exams, but protecting the public good demands that we be demanding, that we not yield to temptation to soften our approach. We can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting the public. After all, the public good is at risk. Or is it?

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September 22, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Explicit Instruction In Legal Education: Boon Or Spoon?

Beth A. Brennan (Montana), Explicit Instruction in Legal Education: Boon or Spoon?, 52 U. Mem. L. Rev. 1 (2021): 

While legal education unquestionably hones students’ critical thinking skills, it also privileges students who are faster readers and have prior background knowledge or larger working memories. According to the prevailing mythology of law school pedagogy, students learn by struggling to find their way out of chaos. Only then is their learning deep enough to permit them to engage in critical thinking and legal reasoning.

Learning theory and research suggest this type of “inquiry” learning is not an effective way to introduce novice learners to a subject. Lacking basic substantive and procedural knowledge, students’ struggles are often unproductive and dispiriting.

Initial explicit instruction early in a student’s learning more predictably creates stable, accurate knowledge. Because higher-order thinking depends on having some knowledge, ensuring students have a strong foundation of substantive and procedural knowledge increases the likelihood that they will develop critical thinking skills.

However, legal education uniformly dismisses anything that looks like “spoon-feeding.” If the academy is going to incorporate learning theory into its pedagogy, it must understand and articulate the differences between spoon-feeding and explicit instruction.

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September 21, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, September 19, 2022

2022 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews

Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2022 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 September 16, 2022). For a summary and more details about method, see below the table. You can also compare MetaRanking since 2018, including changes in ranking over time here: MetaRank Comparison 2018-2022.

The MetaRank was computed by averaging ranks (using a 25% weighting from each) of the following rankings:

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking (averaged over 10 years);
usnRank = overall US News school ranking (averaged over 10 years);
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking;
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking (note: “1000” means journal was not indexed).

Journal MetaRank prRank usnRank wluRank gRank
Harvard Law Review 1 1 3 1 1
Yale Law Journal 2 3 1 2 2
Stanford Law Review 3 2 2 3 5
Columbia Law Review 4 4 5 5 3
California Law Review 5 7 9 4 4
University of Chicago Law Review 6 5 4 12 6
University of Pennsylvania Law Review 7 9 7 6 8
New York University Law Review 8 6 6 13 9
Michigan Law Review 8 8 9 8 9
Georgetown Law Journal 10 14 14 7 9
Duke Law Journal 11 11 11 11 12
Northwestern University Law Review 12 13 12 14 16
Virginia Law Review 13 10 8 22 17
Texas Law Review 13 15 15 15 12
Vanderbilt Law Review 15 17 17 18 7
UCLA Law Review 16 16 16 10 18
Notre Dame Law Review 17 22 21 9 12
Minnesota Law Review 18 20 20 16 20
Cornell Law Review 19 12 13 23 29
Boston University Law Review 20 24 21 20 15
Southern California Law Review 21 19 19 26 27
Iowa Law Review 22 29 25 21 18
Washington University Law Review 23 18 18 29 34
Emory Law Journal 24 21 23 33 24
George Washington Law Review 25 25 24 31 23
Boston College Law Review 26 29 30 25 21
UC Davis Law Review 27 26 37 19 25
Fordham Law Review 28 34 39 17 22
William & Mary Law Review 29 33 33 24 31
Indiana Law Journal 30 32 34 27 29
North Carolina Law Review 31 23 31 35 34
Washington Law Review 32 36 38 30 28
University of Illinois Law Review 33 39 43 28 26
Wisconsin Law Review 34 27 32 39 39
Alabama Law Review 35 38 25 36 41
Ohio State Law Journal 36 31 35 37 43
Florida Law Review 37 37 41 32 38
Washington and Lee Law Review 38 41 36 44 42
Arizona State Law Journal 39 40 27 47 51
UC Irvine Law Review 40 28 28 56 55
Arizona Law Review 41 44 45 41 39
Hastings Law Journal 42 43 55 40 32
Georgia Law Review 43 35 29 43 64
Maryland Law Review 44 48 48 45 37
University of Colorado Law Review 45 42 46 46 45
Cardozo Law Review 46 53 59 34 36
Wake Forest Law Review 47 45 42 50 48
Brigham Young University Law Review 48 50 40 55 48
Utah Law Review 49 49 47 49 50
American University Law Review 50 51 77 38 32
University of Richmond Law Review 51 69 52 53 53
Houston Law Review 52 60 56 58 55
Tulane Law Review 53 46 51 73 64
Temple Law Review 54 57 54 64 64
Connecticut Law Review 55 52 57 52 83
SMU Law Review 55 65 50 74 55
George Mason Law Review 57 58 44 59 85
Denver Law Review 58 56 74 75 52
Lewis & Clark Law Review 59 86 90 42 43
Chicago-Kent Law Review 59 75 87 54 45
Georgia State University Law Review 61 64 65 80 53
University of Miami Law Review 62 54 69 81 60
Brooklyn Law Review 62 70 88 51 55
Tennessee Law Review 64 66 60 72 1000
Pepperdine Law Review 65 62 58 83 70
Nevada Law Journal 66 76 66 62 71
Case Western Reserve Law Review 67 68 67 81 61
Florida State University Law Review 68 47 49 98 85
Oklahoma Law Review 68 78 72 68 61
University of Kansas Law Review 70 67 73 85 61
Missouri Law Review 71 71 64 79 75
Seton Hall Law Review 72 88 61 69 73
Nebraska Law Review 73 84 70 78 64
Villanova Law Review 74 82 75 77 64
Penn State Law Review 75 92 68 61 80
Michigan State Law Review 76 91 92 48 75
Kentucky Law Journal 76 72 63 86 85
Buffalo Law Review 78 99 101 60 55
South Carolina Law Review 79 85 94 66 72
Seattle University Law Review 80 93 115 67 45
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 81 73 76 89 83
Oregon Law Review 82 54 86 96 1000
San Diego Law Review 83 59 81 115 85
Saint Louis University Law Journal 83 98 91 87 64
University of Cincinnati Law Review 85 89 79 98 79
Texas A&M Law Review 86 105 100 71 1000
CUNY Law Review 87 112 122 57 1000
Hofstra Law Review 88 101 114 63 73
Marquette Law Review 89 95 103 75 80
Rutgers University Law Review 90 74 82 126 75
Santa Clara Law Review 91 80 113 70 102
Baylor Law Review 92 87 53 113 1000
Indiana Law Review 93 81 104 101 85
University of Pittsburgh Law Review 93 63 80 121 107
Arkansas Law Review 95 94 84 103 91
Loyola of L.A. Law Review 96 61 71 132 110
UMKC Law Review 97 108 117 65 91
New Mexico Law Review 97 90 83 104 1000
Louisiana Law Review 99 104 93 95 91
Syracuse Law Review 100 96 99 97 101

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September 19, 2022 in Law Review Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

CSI: Law School. Forensic Science In Legal Education.

Brandon L. Garrett (Duke; Google Scholar), Glinda Cooper (Yeshiva) & Quinn Beckham (Duke), Forensic Science in Legal Education, 51 J.L. & Educ. 1 (2022):

CSIIn criminal cases, forensic science reports and expert testimony play an increasingly important role in adjudication. More states now follow a federal reliability standard, following Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and Rule 702, which call upon judges to assess the reliability and validity of such scientific evidence. Little is known about what education law schools provide regarding forensic and scientific evidence, or what types of specialized training they receive on scientific methods or evidence. Whether law schools have added forensic science courses to their curricula in recent years was not known. In order to better understand the answers to those questions, in late 2019 and Spring 2020, we conducted searches to identify course offerings in forensic sciences at U.S. law schools and then surveyed their instructors, asking for syllabi and information concerning how the courses are offered, how regularly, and with what coverage.

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September 19, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Academic Attrition And Transfers, Not Pedagogy, Drive A Law School's Bar Exam Performance

Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn), Kevin Ruth (PhD Mathematics, Miami) & Katie Tolliver Jones (Lincoln Memorial), Reexamining Relative Bar Performance as a Function of Non-Linearity, Heteroscedasticity, and a New Independent Variable, 52 N.M. L. Rev. 119 (2022):

New Mexico Law ReviewOne might believe that a law school’s graduates doing better on the bar exam than their matriculating credentials predicted must be primarily attributable to the teaching ability and performance of the institution’s faculty. Some scholarship makes such a claim. However, it is empirically untrue. Prestidigitation rather than legal pedagogy yields such superficial results. Law schools manipulating their matriculant pools via academic attrition and transfer is the sleight-of- hand that improves their graduates’ barperformance rates. This article reveals the math behind the magic.

This article demonstrates that effective pedagogy may not be the only driver of a law school’s students overperforming on the bar examination.

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September 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Second Time’s The Charm: An Empirical Examination Of The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Repeat Legal Externships

Carolyn Young Larmore (Chapman; Google Scholar), Second Time’s the Charm: An Empirical Examination of the Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of Repeat Legal Externships, 70 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y __ (2022):

Law schools offer externships to give students real world experience that can’t be taught in the classroom. We encourage field supervisors to provide students with a variety of assignments of an increasingly challenging nature. And our students perform well, practicing important legal skills and impressing their supervisors. So, what happens when a student has such a good experience that they are asked to stay on another semester? Are there more lessons to be learned, or other benefits to be had, from another four months of fieldwork at the same placement? Or should law school faculty require students to find a new experience to expand their legal horizons? This article takes a first-of-its-kind empirical approach to answering these questions. The author undertook three surveys – of externship faculty, field supervisors, and students – as well as an analysis of several years’ worth of externship program data, to shed light on the pros and cons of allowing students to repeat a legal externship with the same placement.

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September 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

What We Do: The Life And Work Of The Legal Writing Professor

David I. C. Thomson (Denver; Google Scholar), What We Do: The Life and Work of The Legal Writing Professor, 50 J. Law & Educ. 170 (2021): 

The life of the legal writing professor in today’s law schools is a challenging yet rewarding one. Out of necessity, over the last thirty years the pedagogy of legal writing has expanded to include much more than just writing skills—it has become every law student’s introduction to a broad set of basic lawyering skills and is more appropriately styled the Lawyering Process (LP). The increasing gravity and responsibility of the Lawyering Process course has led to expansion of credits given to the course and gradually to greater status and equity to the faculty who teach it, although most of us still lag the benefits and privileges of our tenured colleagues. Because of the dramatic evolution of the course and in the professionalism of the faculty who teach it, many traditional tenure-track faculty members do not really know or understand what we do now.

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September 14, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, September 10, 2022

High Anxiety: Racism, The Law, And Legal Education

Elayne E. Greenberg (St. John's), High Anxiety: Racism, the Law, and Legal Education:

Conspicuously absent from the United States’ ongoing discourse about its racist history is a more honest discussion about the individual and personal stressors that are evoked in people when they talk about racism. What if they got it wrong? The fear of being cancelled — the public shaming for remarks that are deemed racist — has had a chilling effect on having meaningful conversations about racism. What lost opportunities! This paper moves this discussion into the law school context.

How might law schools rethink their law school curricula to more accurately represent the role systemic racism has played in shaping the law while still respecting community members’ different perspectives about racism pedagogy? As in our broader society, law school community members’ fear of 'getting it wrong' and possibly being cancelled has had a chilling effect on having candid conversations about racism within legal education and the law.

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September 10, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Krieger Reviews The Law Student’s Guide To Doing Well And Being Well

Lawrence S. Krieger (Florida State), Book Review and Essay, 72 J. Legal Educ. __ (2023):

I am pleased to review a valuable contribution at an opportune time for law students and legal education, The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well, by Shailini Jandial George, hereinafter The Guide. After presenting my review, in Part II I will urge that we supplement this excellent work and others with a new paradigm for addressing the persistent problems of distress and dissatisfaction in the law, including (a) ending the unhappy marriage of stress and the law, (b) ending the unhappy marriage of superficial, unfulfilling values and the law, and (c) amending aspects of law school pedagogy that undermine the well-being and personality integrity of students.

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September 8, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Does The 1L Curriculum Make A Difference?

David A. Hyman (Georgetown), Jing Liu (East China University) &  Joshua C. Teitelbaum (Georgetown; Google Scholar), Does the 1L Curriculum Make a Difference?:

Georgetown (2016)Georgetown Law’s Curriculum B (also known as Section 3) offers a unique opportunity to study an alternative 1L curriculum. The standard 1L curriculum has been around for decades and is still offered at the vast majority of U.S. law schools. Leaders in the legal academy often talk about experimenting with the 1L curriculum, but hardly anyone does it. Georgetown Law has. We study whether Georgetown’s Curriculum B yields measurable differences in student outcomes. Our empirical design leverages the fact that enrollment in Curriculum B is done by lottery when it is oversubscribed—meaning our study is effectively a randomized controlled trial. We measure treatment effects of Curriculum B by comparing outcomes of students who received the treatment (Curriculum B) with outcomes of students who received the placebo (Curriculum A) but wanted the treatment.

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September 8, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Fostering Law Student Professional Identity In A Time Of Instability And Strife

Neil Hamilton (St. Thomas; Google Scholar) & Louis Bilionis (Cincinnati), Fostering Law Student Professional Identity In A Time Of Instability And Strife:

BilionisRecent posts in Legal Evolution have explored the country’s political and economic instability and social strife, theories for national decline, and the special roles and responsibilities of the legal profession to address these challenges. See Posts 312319321 (exploring duties of lawyers in the present age).  This post focuses on recent accreditation changes in legal education that, we hope, will help new generations of law students internalize the profession’s special roles and responsibilities and thus more effectively address our pressing social and political challenges.

In February 2022, the ABA revised Accreditation Standard 303(b) to add that “a law school shall provide substantial opportunities to students for: …. (3) the development of a professional identity.”  And a new subsection (c) has been added to Standard 303, providing that “[a] law school shall provide education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation.”  Am. Bar Ass’n Sec. of Legal Educ. and Admissions to the Bar, Report to the House of Delegates at 4 (adopted Feb. 14, 2022).  New “Interpretations” accompany the revisions to Standard 303, including two that provide guidance on the meaning of professional identity and thereby illuminate the relationship between the revisions.

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September 7, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, September 5, 2022

What The Access To Justice Crisis Means For Legal Education

Kathryne M. Young (George Washington; Google Scholar), What the Access to Justice Crisis Means for Legal Education, 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev.​ 811 (2021):

UC Irvine Law ReviewDespite enormous social, legal, and technological shifts in the last century, the structure of legal education has remained largely unchanged. Part of the reason so little change has occurred is that the current model mostly “works”; it produces a professional class of lawyers to populate the ranks of law firms and government entities. At the same time, for decades, legal education researchers have considered it practically axiomatic that law school has room for improvement.

In this Article, I argue that the access to justice crisis—a deficit of just resolutions to justiciable civil justice problems for everyday people—compels an overdue examination of legal education’s scope and purpose.

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September 5, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Introducing First-Year Law Students To 'Legal Realism'

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU; Google Scholar), What Do Good Lawyers Know that the Rest of Us Don't? Introducing First-Year Law Students to 'Legal Realism':, 100 Neb. L. Rev. Bull. (2022):

This short article presents the general outlines of a short lecture that I usually give to my first-year contract law students, in about their second or third week of classes, to get them started thinking about the process of judicial decision-making, and about the “legal realist” perspective regarding that process.

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September 5, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Professorial Speech, The First Amendment, And The 'Anti-CRT' Laws

Keith E. Whittington (Princeton; Google Scholar), Professorial Speech, the First Amendment, and the 'Anti-CRT' Laws:

Academic freedom enjoys an uncertain status in American constitutional law under the First Amendment. It is particularly unclear how the First Amendment applies when it comes to professorial speech in the classroom. This lack of clarity has grave implications in the current political environment. There is now an unprecedented wave of legislative proposals aimed at curtailing teaching and discussing controversial topics relating to race and gender in state university classrooms, and the constitutionality of such measures will soon need to be resolved.

This Article sets out a new argument for protecting from legislative interference how faculty at state universities teach their courses.

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September 1, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Reimagining Affirmative Action Jurisprudence In Law School Admissions Through A Filipino-American Paradigm

Joseph D. G. Castro (J.D. Pepperdine, 2022), Comment, Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Reimagining Affirmative Action Jurisprudence in Law School Admissions Through a Filipino-American Paradigm, 49 Pepp. L. Rev. 195 (2022):

Pepperdine Law Review (2021)Writing the majority opinion upholding the use of racial preferences in law school admissions in 2003, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor anticipated that racial preferences would no longer be necessary in twenty-five years. On the contrary, 2021 has seen the astronomic rise of critical race theory, the popularity of race-driven “diversity” initiatives in higher education, and the continued surge of identity politics in the mainstream. So much has been written on affirmative action—what else could this Comment add to the conversation?

Analyzing the Court’s application of strict scrutiny through a Filipino-American paradigm, this Comment ultimately concludes that affirmative action in law school admissions is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. However, this Comment also concludes that affirmative action is not only necessary to, but also consistent with, the repeatedly upheld anti-subordination aspect and redistributive rubric of the Reconstruction Amendments.

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August 31, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Teaching Law And Digital Age Legal Practice With An AI And Law Seminar

Kevin Ashley (Pittsburgh; Google Scholar), Teaching Law and Digital Age Legal Practice with an AI and Law Seminar: Justice, Lawyering and Legal Education in the Digital Age, 88 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 783 (2013):

A seminar on Artificial Intelligence ("Al") and Law can teach law students lessons about legal reasoning and legal practice in the digital age. Al and Law is a subfield of Al/computer science research that focuses on designing computer programs—computational models—that perform legal reasoning. These computational models are used in building tools to assist in legal practice and pedagogy and in studying legal reasoning in order to contribute to cognitive science and jurisprudence. Today, subject to a number of qualifications, computer programs can reason with legal rules, apply legal precedents, and even argue like a legal advocate.

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August 25, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Exclusion Of Public Legal Education From Mandatory And Aspirational State Pro Bono Service Requirements

Amy Wallace (New York Law School), The Exclusion of Public Legal Education from Mandatory and Aspirational State Pro Bono Service Requirements, 23 Loy. J. of Pub. Int. L. __ (2022):

Pro bono service is embedded in legal education and practice. Every year, lawyers and law students across the United States engage in countless hours of pro bono service. There are over 1.3 million lawyers in the country and more than one hundred thousand law students enrolled in law school. Lawyers perform an average of thirty-seven hours of pro bono work each year. They reference several factors that motivate them to perform this work but the desire to help people in need ranks highest. Professional duty is also listed as an important factor for lawyers choosing to perform pro bono work. The moral obligation to help those who do not have access to the legal profession is captured in the mandatory and aspirational pro bono requirements codified in virtually every state. The state standards all include the most essential direct legal services needed to address the urgent needs of those who cannot afford legal representation. The critical importance of direct pro bono legal representation cannot be overstated. Most states also include other voluntary legal activities lawyers can perform to assist their communities. Public legal education projects are programs where law students and lawyers teach community members about the law. 

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August 24, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tampon Taxes: Menstruation, Pregnancy, And The Complexities Of Comparison

Emily Gold Waldman (Pace), Compared to What? Menstruation, Pregnancy, and the Complexities of Comparison, 41 Colum. J. Gender & L. 218 (2021): 

Columbia Journal of Gender and the LawWhen crafting a sex discrimination argument, finding the right comparison can be crucial. Indeed, comparison-drawing has been a key strategy for advocates challenging the constitutionality of the tampon tax. In their 2016 lawsuit challenging New York’s tampon tax, the plaintiffs alleged that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance had imposed a “double standard” when deciding which products would be considered tax-free medical items and which would not. Similar arguments were made in the subsequent challenge to Florida's tampon tax. In both cases, the arguments had powerful rhetorical force, helping to effectuate legislative repeal of the tampon taxes in those states.

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August 24, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Year Of Magical Teaching: Lessons Learned From One Class In Three Modalities

Debra Moss Vollweiler (Nova), The Year of Magical Teaching: Lessons Learned from One Class in Three Modalities:

This article narrates eight key lessons learned by an experienced law professor teaching one course in three different ways during one academic year. During the 2021-2022 academic year, I taught one course—Secured Transactions—three times, for three different schools, and in three different modalities. While I certainly do not stand alone in self-reflecting on my teaching during recent times, in the recent year, I had a unique situation that allowed me to isolate and consider my teaching of a subject, away from preparing the doctrine of the subject itself.

Although thinking about “teaching” historically was not the focus of law professors in legal education, there has been a slow steady change in the interest of the discipline of teaching among legal educators. More recently, it is already clear that the global pandemic of 2020 has awakened a new wave of thinking about teaching in legal education, although this time, hitting more faculty more personally. It is now clear that law faculty all need—and that students deserve—support and training in best educational practices to ensure success. The lessons learned in this past year can further that goal.

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August 23, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Women In U.S. Law Schools, 1948-2021

Elizabeth D. Katz (Washington University), Kyle Rozema (Washington University; Google Scholar) & Sarath Sanga (Northwestern; Google Scholar), Women in U.S. Law Schools, 1948-2021:

We study the progress of women’s representation and achievement in law schools. To do this, we assemble a new dataset on the number of women and men students, faculty, and deans at all ABA-approved U.S. law schools from 1948 to the present. These data enable us to study many unexplored features of women’s progress in law schools for the first time, including the process by which women initially gained access to each law school, the variance in women’s experiences across law schools, the relationship between women’s representation and student achievement, and the extent to which women occupy lower status faculty and deanship positions. We contextualize our findings by situating them within the vast qualitative literature on women’s experiences in law schools and the legal profession.

Figure 2

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August 23, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, August 22, 2022

Are Law Schools Raising Their Attrition And Transfer Rates To Boost Their Bar Exam Pass Rates?

Jason Scott (AccessLex; Google Scholar) & Joshua Jackson (AccessLex), Are Law Schools Cream-Skimming to Bolster Their Bar Exam Pass Rates?:

Law schools are held accountable on many fronts to achieve and maintain high bar passage rates. ABA Standard 316 is likely the strongest accountability measure. While the course of legal education itself, along with academic and bar success interventions, is a key driver of bar exam performance, Bahadur et al. suggests that other, obscure institutional practices can serve to inflate institutional bar passage performance [Academic Attrition And Transfers, Not Pedagogy, Drive A Law School's Bar Exam Performance]. Such practices could include recruitment and admission of transfer students and academic attrition. We examine this hypothesis to assess the influence of both attrition and transfer on law schools’ bar passage rates. ...

The initial phase of investigating Bahadur et al.’s claim is to examine whether relationships exist between a school’s attrition and transfer rates and both its pass differential and LSAT/UGPA index score.

At first glance, there does appear to be a relationship between a school’s first-time pass differential and its rates of attrition and transfer (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

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August 22, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Brooks Reviews Givens's Radical Empathy: Finding A Path To Bridging Racial Divides

Susan L. Brooks (Drexel), Book Review, 5 Int'l J. Restorative Just. __ (2022) (reviewing Terri E. Givens, Radical Empathy: Finding A Path To Bridging Racial Divides (2021): 

Radical empathyIn her recent book, Dr. Terri Givens, a highly accomplished political scientist and entrepreneur, guides readers through the process of her own racial healing and invites them to create parallel journeys for themselves. Givens identifies the core element and requirement for the work of racial healing as empathy, which she defines as ‘the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective, in order to understand their feelings and life experiences.’ She uses the term ‘radical empathy’ to emphasize the need to move from feeling to doing, from recognizing the humanity in another person to taking action toward racial and social justice. Givens separates radical empathy into distinct steps representing the practices required to engage in this ongoing effort. These include becoming grounded in who you are, a willingness to be vulnerable, opening yourself to the experiences of others, and creating change and building trust. Throughout the book she demonstrates these practices by weaving together her personal and family narratives with scholarly writings on racial justice and other topics that represent highlights of her life experience and expertise, including leadership, healthcare, love and marriage, and European history. Consistent with Givens’ emphasis on action, at the end of each chapter she includes a set of suggested steps readers can take to move along the path toward creating positive personal and social transformation.

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August 18, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Teaching To Neurodiverse Law Students

Jennifer Kindred Mitchell (George Washington), Teaching to Neurodiverse Law Students, 29 Persps. ___ (2021):

NeuroTribesAs the legal academy continues to explore ways to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our schools and curriculum, this article seeks to expand our understanding of DEI to include neurodiversity. Legal writing is a challenging subject to teach and for neurodiverse students can be especially daunting to grasp. This Article is meant to increase awareness of the neurodiversity movement and suggest ways to assist neurodiverse law students develop their legal writing and research skills.

Neurodiverse students bring new perspectives to education and law school. Raising neurodiversity awareness and focusing on students’ strengths are excellent starting points to better attract and integrate neurodiverse people into the legal profession. The neurodiversity concept has certainly turned my view of learning disabilities on its head. Steve Silberman, in his book NeuroTribes, states, “We have to learn to think more intelligently about people who think differently.” Understanding neurodiversity requires thinking about the brain as an adept and adaptive organism that maximizes success from limitations, in other words it makes lemonade from lemons, and not all aspects of an atypical brain are limited.

Silberman summarizes neurodiversity well and challenges us to think from the perspective of neurodiverse people:

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August 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Pre-Publication Publications: SSRN And Self-Plagiarism

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU; Google Scholar), Pre-Publication Publications:

SSRN Logo (2018)Many law professors now post essentially complete drafts of their articles on SSRN and/or on university-sponsored working paper websites prior to submitting those articles for journal publication. This “pre-publication publication,” so to speak, is useful for both authors and their readers, but it raises some self-plagiarism issues, and there does not yet appear to be a broad consensus on how those issues should be addressed. 

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August 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Weathering Invisible Labor

Ederlina Co (Pacific), Weathering Invisible Labor, 51 Sw. L. Rev. 258 (2022):

SWProfessor Meera Deo’s Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia powerfully demonstrates how the legal academy has adopted many of American society’s social hierarchies as they relate to race and gender. Inspired by Unequal Profession and using a Critical Race Feminism framework, this Essay centers on women of color professors and the problem of invisible labor in legal academia.

Although for many women of color professors invisible labor involves a labor of love, this Essay contends that the legal academy’s unwillingness to recognize it in a meaningful manner marginalizes women of color professors, devalues how important invisible labor is to law students, law schools, and the legal profession, and perpetuates a raceXgender institutional bias. 

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August 16, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Median Real Income Of Lawyers Has Fallen 1.9% Since 2001

James V. Koch (Old Dominion) & Barbara Blake-Gonzalez (Old Dominion; Google Scholar), Why Has the Median Real income of Lawyers Been Declining?,  46 J. Econ. & Fin ___ (2022):

The median real incomes of lawyers have been declining. In 2001, the median real income of lawyers in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia was $129,389 (July 2020 prices). Almost two decades later, in 2020, this number had fallen to $126,930, 1.90% less than in 2001.

Lawyers Income 3

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August 16, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, August 15, 2022

Tenured-Terminations, 2000-2021

Deepa Das Acevedo (Alabama; Google Scholar), Tenured-Terminations:

The debate over faculty tenure has proceeded despite a glaring absence of data on tenure’s real-world operations as an employment practice. I use an original, manually-assembled dataset of “tenured-terminations” from 2000 to 2021 to offer a first look into the landscape of tenured employment via instances where tenure was overcome. The data show reveal remarkable patterns in the demographics and circumstances of tenured-terminations. The data also trouble assumptions about the misuse of academic freedom by illuminating the narratives and counternarratives advanced by the universities and faculty who are involved in tenured-terminations. These findings have implications for supporters and critics of tenure alike.

Tenured-Terminations by Race:

Tenured-Terminations by Age:

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August 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Politics Of Bar Admission: Lessons From The Pandemic

Leslie C. Levin (Connecticut; Google Scholar), The Politics of Bar Admission: Lessons from the Pandemic, 50 Hofstra L. Rev. 81 (2021):

The controversy over how and whether to administer the July 2020 bar examination during the COVID-19 pandemic upended the usual process of lawyer regulation. New actors—including bar applicants—very publicly challenged regulators’ decisions and questioned the safety and fairness of plans for the bar exam. Some advocated for emergency admission without the need to satisfy the bar examination requirement. Joined by law school deans and faculty, the advocacy occurred against the backdrop of the politicization of COVID-19, street protests over police misconduct and racial inequality, and long-standing skepticism about the value and fairness of the bar exam. Regulators throughout the United States reached very different decisions about how to proceed.

Bar Exam

This article uses eight case studies of states’ responses to explore why these differences occurred. They reveal how a state’s political culture and political attitudes toward the pandemic seemingly informed some regulators’ responses.

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August 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Millennial Leadership In Law Schools: Essays On Disruption, Innovation, And The Future

Millennial Leadership in Law Schools: Essays on Disruption, Innovation, and the Future (Ashley Krenelka Chase (Stetson; Google Scholar), ed. 2021):

Millenial Leadership 3This book explores the role millennials will play—as faculty, administrators, or staff members—in shaping the future of legal education, and what the academy can do to embrace the millennial generation as colleagues, not students.

Section I brings together chapters that focus on the culture of law schools, and the need to embrace a new, forward-thinking and innovative way of defining what law schools are and do and how we educate students. The chapters in Section II focus on relationships: the relationships millennials in the academy have with ourselves, our institutions, and the community. Section III includes chapters that detail how Millennial leaders work in the classroom, how they use things like feedback and assessment to change the dynamic in the classroom and to innovate law school pedagogy to educate well-rounded lawyers. Section IV is an essential read for anyone who spends time thinking about the current legal economy and law schools’ roles in educating practice-ready lawyers. Finally, Section V includes chapters on change. Legal education has no choice but to evolve, and these authors present ideas on how to embrace millennial ideology to do just that.

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August 13, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The ABA Should Be Required To Disclose Law School Accreditation Information

Henry Webb (Palm Beach Atlantic), Patrick Baker (Tennessee; Google Scholar) & Kaleb Byars (J.D. 2021, Tennessee), Accreditation Information Produced by United States Law Schools to the American Bar Association Should be Made Available to the Public From Both Law and Policy Perspectives, 34 Loy. U. Chi. Consumer L. Rev. 79 (2021):

ABA Legal Ed (2021)This article argues that, from a legal perspective, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) is the functional equivalent of a government agency and so is subject to the United States Freedom of Information Act. Under Soucie v. David and related cases, the fact that the ABA has the final decision-making authority to decide whether a United States law school is or is not to be accredited renders it the functional equivalent of a government agency, and the ABA’s refusal to make available to the public the voluminous amount of important information produced to the ABA by law schools going through the accreditation and accreditation review processes is illegal and would not likely survive a challenge in court.

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

What Do Law Professors Believe About Law And The Legal Academy?

Eric Martínez (Graduate Student, MIT) & Kevin Tobia (Georgetown; Google Scholar), What Do Law Professors Believe about Law and the Legal Academy? An Empirical Inquiry:

Legal theorists seek to persuade other jurists of certain theories: Textualism or purposivism; formalism or realism; natural law theory or positivism; prison reform or abolition; universal or particular human rights? Despite voluminous literature about these debates, tremendous uncertainty remains about which views experts endorse. This Article presents the first-ever empirical study of American law professors about legal theory questions. A novel dataset of over six hundred law professors reveals expert consensus and dissensus about dozens of longstanding legal theory debates.

Law professors also debate questions about the nature of the legal academy. Descriptively, which subjects (e.g. constitutional law) and methods (e.g. law & economics) are most central within the legal academy today? And prescriptively, should today’s legal academy prioritize additional areas (e.g. legislation) or methods (e.g. critical race theory)? There is great interest in these questions but no empirical dataset of experts’ views; this results in uncertainty about which views experts endorse. This Article’s empirical study also clarifies these questions, documenting law professors’ evaluation of over one-hundred areas of law.

Top 10

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Trailblazing And Living A Purposeful Life In The Law: A Dakota Woman’s Reflections As A Law Professor

Angelique EagleWoman (Mitchell|Hamline; Google Scholar), Trailblazing and Living a Purposeful Life in the Law: A Dakota Woman’s Reflections as a Law Professor, 51 Sw. U. L. Rev. 227 (2022):

SWThis Essay is a reflection from my perspective as a Dakota woman law professor on my fifth law school faculty. In the illuminating work of Meera Deo, light is shone on the experience of women of color legal academics. Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia is a book that should be required reading at every law school. As women of color are faculty members in every law school in the United States, the research, analysis, and recommendations tailored to the experience of women of color law faculty should be a priority topic in those same law schools. As a Native American woman law professor, my experience and journey in legal academia resonate with many of the topics in this important work.

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation In Law School And Legal Profession

Ahmuan Williams (J.D. 2023, Oklahoma), A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession:

Diversity in the legal profession does not have to be a myth, but we have to put in the effort to do it. A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession gives you an idea of the challenges and history of being a minority in the legal profession created exclusively for white men. This paper examines affirmative action and its need to diversify the legal profession. It starts by examining the controversies in diversity and the legal profession. Then it acknowledges the positive impacts of diversity initiatives in the legal profession. It concludes by recommending that we adopt long-term diversity initiatives through our state constitutions, amendments, and education.

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August 10, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was last updated in August 2022.

Here are the Top 75 law schools based on their 5-year rolling average overall U.S. News ranking:

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August 3, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Stephen Carter, Deborah Merritt, And The Bar Exam

Deborah J. Merritt (Ohio State; Google Scholar), Stephen Carter on the Bar Exam:

Eminent Yale Professor Stephen Carter has penned has penned a thoughtful critique of the bar exam [RIP to the LSAT? Let’s Kill the Bar Exam, Too]. Professor Carter notes the exam’s similarities to the LSAT, which some law schools have abandoned as an admissions requirement. In addition to their shared affection for multiple choice questions, the LSAT and bar exam both constrain the diversity of our profession. Despite the bar exam’s disproportionate racial impact, Professor Carter notes, the exam has never been properly validated. Here, he cites a column I wrote in 2017 for the AALS Newsletter.

As I wrote then, state bar examiners and NCBE designed the bar exam around a definition of minimum competence that they “felt in their bones.” NCBE did not conduct a practice analysis of the knowledge and skills that new lawyers need until 2012. That analysis supported some of the doctrinal subjects that NCBE was testing, but not the depth of memorization required by the exam. The analysis also confirmed that skills like researching the law, fact gathering, negotiating, and interviewing were essential for law practice–all skills conspicuously absent from the bar exam.

NCBE conducted another practice analysis in 2019, which once again exposed numerous flaws in the exam. My own research conducted with Logan Cornett and IAALS (the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System) [Building A Better Bar Exam: The Twelve Building Blocks Of Minimum Competence], reached a similar conclusion: the written bar exam tests both too much and too little. It restricts admission to the profession (especially of people of color) without adequately protecting the public. ...

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August 2, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Listening To Our Students: Fostering Resilience And Engagement To Promote Culture Change In Legal Education

Ann Sinsheimer (Pittsburgh) & Omid Fotuhi (Pittsburgh), Listening to Our Students: Fostering Resilience and Engagement to Promote Culture Change in Legal Education, 26 Legal Writing: The J. Legal Writing Inst. 81 (2022):

In this Article, we describe a dynamic program of research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law that uses mindset to promote resilience and engagement in law students. For the last three years, we have used tailored, well-timed, psychological interventions to help students bring adaptive mindsets to the challenges they face in law school. The act of listening to our students has been the first step in designing interventions to improve their experience, and it has become a kind of intervention in itself. Through this work, we have learned that simply asking our law students about their experiences and listening carefully to their answers helps create an environment that supports academic and professional growth.

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August 2, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Listen!: Amplifying The Experiences Of Black Law School Graduates In 2020

Sarah J. Schendel (Suffolk; Google Scholar), Listen!: Amplifying the Experiences of Black Law School Graduates in 2020, 100 Neb. L. Rev. 73 (2021):

Law students graduating in 2020 faced a number of unusual challenges. However, perhaps no students faced more emotional, psychological, logistical, and financial challenges than Black law school graduates in 2020. In addition to changes in the administration of the bar exam (including the use of technology that struggled to recognize Black faces) and delays in the administration of the exam that led to anxiety and increased financial instability, Black communities were concurrently being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic led to increased care-taking responsibilities for many, concerns over the health of family members, and a lack of quiet and reliable space to study. Black law school graduates already struggling to juggle these challenges were also confronted with a rise in anti-Black police brutality, and the racist words and actions of politicians. As a result of this unprecedented series of stressors, many Black law gradates struggled to focus on studying for the bar, with some choosing to delay or abandon sitting for the bar altogether. Many expressed anger, disappointment, and betrayal at the profession they have worked so hard to enter. This Article summarizes the survey responses of over 120 Black law students who graduated in 2020 and were asked how the COVID pandemic and increased anti-Black violence impacted their health, education, and career aspirations. It seems likely that the impact of 2020 on the presence and wellbeing of Black lawyers in the legal profession will be felt for years to come. As professors, deans, lawyers, and policymakers reexamine the function of the bar exam and confront inequalities in legal education, we need to listen to these graduates’ experiences.

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July 30, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Ancillary Skills And Law School Success

Michael D. O. Rusco (Southern), Ancillary Skills and Law School Success, 35 The Second Draft 1 (2022):

This article assumes that some of what influences a student’s ultimate law school performance are “ancillary skills.” Ancillary skills are skills that affect performance or address stressors that law students commonly face but are not primarily academic or intellectual in nature. In fact, most of them are physiological, psychological, and organizational. Despite the impact these skills can have on performance, most law students are never advised on the effect they can have or instructed how to use them.

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July 28, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Academic Law Libraries And Scholarship: Communication, Publishing, And Ranking

Dana Neacsu (Columbia; Google Scholar) & James M. Donovan (Kentucky; Google Scholar), Academic Law Libraries and Scholarship: Communication, Publishing, and Ranking, 49 J.L. & Educ. 433 (2020):

We argue that the increasing role of scholarly impact in determining a school’s status will provide a new opportunity for libraries to assume a critical institutional role behind its traditional support of scholarship and teaching. In practice, this increased role can evolve in a multitude of ways. Based on the data used here, a strong argument can be made in favor of each library taking charge of both their faculty scholarly impact and publication of its school’s journals. Based on the success story of, a good argument can be made in favor of creating a consortium supporting both these endeavors. Either way, our thesis is that libraries cannot confine themselves to the roles they played in the predigital era. Law faculties create scholarship, and law students decide how much of that scholarship is published in student-edited journals.

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July 28, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Krauss: Pincites

Sam Fox Krauss (J.D. 2022, NYU; Google Scholar), Note, Pincites, 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Within the literature on legal scholarship, academics have studied citation practices. For example, scholars have examined which authors, journals, and articles are most-cited. But no one has examined which parts of articles scholars cite. Understanding which parts of articles scholars cite is not only intrinsically interesting, but also could inform how authors structure articles. This Note presents the results of a unique, hand-coded dataset of thousands of pinpoint citations. In brief: authors are more likely to cite the beginning of articles but split their remaining citations roughly evenly among the remainder. This pattern holds across flagship journals of variously-ranked law schools and articles of varying lengths, but is less-pronounced for self-citation. While a cynical explanation of the data is possible, a better explanation serves as a modest rebuttal to certain criticisms of legal scholarship.

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July 27, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Fall 2022 Online Law Review Article Submission Guide

Following up on last week's post, Fall 2022 Law Review Article Submission Guide:  Bridget J. Crawford (Pace; Google Scholar), Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions:

Law Review SubmissionsThis document contains information about submitting essays, commentaries, reviews, responses, and other writings to online companions to the main law reviews and journals at selected law schools. The document includes word-count limitations, subject matter specifications, preferred submission methods, whether articles from the online journal are included in HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library and other information of possible interest to authors. It covers 20 online companions to main law reviews.

Bridget J. Crawford, Submission Guide for Law Review Online Companions:

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July 27, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Black Lives Matter: On Challenging The Soul Of Legal Education

Phil Lord (Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University (Ontario, Canada); Google Scholar), Black Lives Matter: On Challenging the Soul of Legal Education, 54 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 89 (2021):

Black Lives MatterIn 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement moved to the fore. Many Americans understood for the first time that racism persists in countless aspects of American society and that the legacy of our past is deep and structural. The legal academy, and higher education more broadly, responded by hiring more racialized scholars and making curricular changes. While I salute this effort, I argue that law schools chose to take the easiest path, instead of seizing the opportunity to question, and challenge, the structure and nature of legal education. I consider the structural characteristics of legal education that contribute to the exclusion of racialized and historically marginalized groups.

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July 26, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Crawford: The Bar Exam, Menstruation, And Unconstitutional Tampon Bans

Bridget J. Crawford (Pace; Google Scholar), Menstruation and the Bar Exam: Unconstitutional Tampon Bans, 40 Colum. J. Gender & L. 63 (2021):

Columbia Journal of Gender and the LawSome states have policies that prevent bar exam candidates from bringing their own menstrual products to the test. Via social media, awareness of these policies achieved new heights in the weeks leading up to the July 2020 bar exam. While states adopted different approaches to administering the bar exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, a small number of jurisdictions responded to public criticism by permitting test-takers to bring menstrual products with them to exams. Not all states have adopted permissive policies, however. This essay explains why outright bans on menstrual products at the bar exam likely are unconstitutional. So-called alternate policies, such as making menstrual products available in women’s restrooms, are inadequate. Only a “free-carry” policy for menstrual products is consistent with welcoming all qualified candidates to the legal profession, without regard to biology.

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July 26, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Confessions Of A Catholic Litigator

David A. Shaneyfelt (Alvarez Firm, Calabasas, CA), Confessions of a Catholic Litigator, 17 U. St. Thomas L.J. 111 (2020):

I imagine there are Navy Seals whose consciences prick them when they swim aboard an enemy’s base in the dead of night, slit the throats of guards on duty, retrieve a hostage, gun down pursuers, and swim back to their escape boat. They do what is necessary under the circumstances, within a framework that renders their actions morally unobjectionable. I am
not a Navy Seal. I am a civil litigator. And I am a Catholic, just as I know there are Catholic Navy Seals. I feel like the same lessons that apply to them apply to me, because I, too, seem to be doing the moral equivalent of slitting throats and gunning down enemies, while operating in a framework—the legal profession—that renders my actions morally unobjectionable.

For more than thirty years, I have struggled over my role within the framework of litigation. I want to be a good Catholic. I want to be a good lawyer. Can I be both? Are there things I must do in my practice that offend my faith (and thus offend God)? Conversely, will practicing my faith to the fullest make me an inferior lawyer? Am I binding myself to some higher standard than legal ethics require?

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July 24, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink