Paul L. Caron
Dean




Thursday, June 30, 2022

Get Out: Structural Racism In The Legal Academy And Academic Terror

Renee Nicole Allen (St. John's; Google Scholar), Get Out: Structural Racism and Academic Terror, 29 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. __ (2023):

Get OutReleased in 2017, Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed film Get Out explores the horrors of racism. The film’s plot involves the murder and appropriation of Black bodies for the benefit of wealthy, white people. After luring Black people to their country home, a white family uses hypnosis to paralyze victims and send them to the Sunken Place where screams go unheard. Black bodies are auctioned off to the highest bidder; the winner’s brain is transplanted into the prized Black body. Black victims are rendered passengers in their own bodies so that white inhabitants can obtain physical advantages and immortality.

Like Get Out, this article reveals academic horrors that are far too familiar to people of color. In the legal academy, structural racism is the monster, and under the guise of academic freedom, faculty members inflict terror on marginalized people. Black bodies are objectified and colonized in the name of diversity and antiracism. No matter how loud we scream, it remains a Sunken Place. Only time will tell if the antiracism proclamations of 2020 are a beginning or a killer ending.

This article explores the relationship between structural racism and academic terror in the legal academy and articulates an effective framework for analyzing academic terrorism.

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

Gender Pay Disparities In The Legal Academy

Christopher J. Ryan (Louisville; Google Scholar) & Meghan Dawe (American Bar Foundation; Google Scholar), Mind the Gap: Gender Pay Disparities in the Legal Academy, 34 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 567 (2021):

Differences in pay between women and men in the same jobs have captured the public's attention in recent years. However, public interest in and press coverage of salary differences on the basis of gender—or any other ascriptive class—in the learned professions are wanting. Moreover, few studies have spoken directly on the gender pay disparities in the legal academy, despite emerging evidence of its existence at multiple law schools. In this Article, we use a unique dataset, drawn from the only nationally representative survey to date of tenured law professors in the United States, to track how gender and race are tied to salary outcomes. But we look beyond the raw differences in salary, probing the mechanisms that undergird gendered pay inequities.

Table 14

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ohio State Festschrift In Honor Of Deborah Jones Merritt

Festschrift in Honor of Deborah Jones Merritt, 82 Ohio St. L.J. 879-951 (2021):

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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Inazu: Beyond Unreasonable

John Inazu (Washington Univ.), Beyond Unreasonable, 99 Neb. L. Rev. 375 (2020):

The concept of “reasonableness” permeates the law: the “reasonable person” determines the outcome of torts and contracts disputes, the criminal burden of proof requires factfinders to reach conclusions “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and claims of self-defense succeed or fail on reasonableness determinations. But as any first-year law student can attest, the line between reasonable and unreasonable is not always clear. Nor is that the only ambiguity. In the realm of the unreasonable, many of us intuit that some actions are not only unreasonable but beyond the pale—we might say they are beyond unreasonable. Playing football, summiting Nanga Parbat, and attempting Russian roulette all risk serious injury or death, but most people do not view them the same. These distinctions raise vexing questions: What is it that makes us feel differently about these activities? Mere unfamiliarity? Moral condemnation? Relative utility? Or something else altogether? Moreover, who exactly is the “we” forming these judgments?

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

Saturday, June 18, 2022

How Introverted Law Students Can Thrive: Become Tax Lawyers|Tax Professors (And Deans)

John Lande (Missouri), Introversion, the Legal Profession, and Dispute Resolution:

Quiet Introverted LawyerThis article analyzes introversion and discusses the implications of the large proportion of people who are introverted, including many lawyers and other dispute resolution professionals. It relies on two analytical books, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven-Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy by Brooklyn Law Professor Heidi K. Brown. It also uses insights from two memoirs: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan, and Playing with Myself by Randy Rainbow.

There is no agreement about the definition of introversion, but it is a very real phenomenon, even though there isn’t a consistent definition and people may experience and manifest it differently. Introverted people often struggle because of what Susan Cain calls the “extrovert ideal,” which dominates much of Western society. In this context, introversion is viewed as a “second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.” Based on her review of psychological research, she says that introverts can consciously organize their lives to operate at “optimal levels of arousal.”

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June 18, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Friday, June 17, 2022

Litigation Bias

Adam Eckart (Suffolk), Litigation Bias, 101 Or. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Oregon Law ReviewThere is pervasive litigation bias in law schools. Despite significant interest in transactional law fields among law students, law schools disproportionately teach to the student interested in litigation: litigation-based legal writing assignments outnumber transactional-based ones 19 to 1; litigation-based clinics outnumber transactional ones 9 to 1; and doctrinal classes focus primarily on appellate court cases, often failing to entertain substantive discussion on the creation or content of the documents that led to the dispute. As a result, law school graduates are 44% less prepared for transactional careers than litigation careers.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2022

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

Ahmuan Williams (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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June 16, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How COVID-19 Made Me A Better Law Teacher

Amy Soled (Rutgers), How COVID-19 Made Me a Better Teacher, 34 The Second Draft 1 (2021):

COVID-19 has caused havoc in the world as we know it, altering every aspect of life, including education. The pandemic forced me and other educators to teach online, and by doing so, it has made me a better teacher. I now (1) employ more teaching techniques; (2) assess more frequently; and (3) engage every student. As I emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have reflected on the positive lessons I learned from teaching online, lessons that I plan to bring with me when I return to the classroom.

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June 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Reflections On Legal Education In The Aftermath Of A Pandemic

Timothy Casey (California Western), Reflections on Legal Education in the Aftermath of a Pandemic, 28 Clinical L. Rev. 85 (2021):

This essay considers two significant changes to legal education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, on-line programs will expand, based on the largely successful experiment in delivering legal education on-line during the pandemic. But this expansion must be thoughtful and deliberate. The legal education curriculum could include more on-line courses, but only if the learning outcomes and the pedagogy are aligned with on-line education. Experiential courses may not be the best fit for on-line given the specific learning outcomes and the benefits of in-person instruction in those courses.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Deo: The End of Affirmative Action

Meera E. Deo (Southwestern), The End of Affirmative Action, 100 N.C. L. Rev. 237 (2021):

We have arrived at the end of affirmative action. Now, more than ever, institutions of higher learning must move beyond a single-minded focus on educational diversity, which admits students of color primarily to enrich the classroom experiences of their white peers and then ignores what they may need to maximize both engagement and retention. Instead, affirmative action programs need an immediate update; they should take contemporary issues of race and racism into account, as well as the lived realities of students of color—by including multiracial students, recognizing diversity beneath the student of color umbrella, acknowledging intra-racial differences in pan-ethnic groups, and accepting that the resources and realities of Black immigrants differ from native-born Black Americans. Furthermore, to maximize the benefits of educational diversity, institutions must also prioritize equity and inclusion once students are enrolled.

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

Practical Considerations In Starting And Operating An Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Amy Spivey (UC-Hastings) & Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar), Practical Considerations in Starting and Operating an Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, 76 Tax Law. __ (2022):

ABA Tax Lawyer (2022)Low-income taxpayer clinics (“LITCs”) provide legal assistance to underserved clients with active federal tax controversies, conduct educational outreach to low-income and English-as-a-second-language taxpayers, and work to ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system. Despite the availability of IRS grant funding for LITCs and the alignment of LITC goals with the core values that underlie clinical legal education, a relatively small percentage of U.S. law schools currently operates an LITC. Moreover, many law school LITCs have closed within the past ten years, demonstrating that even if started, academic LITCs are challenging to sustain.

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June 14, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale: Student-Run Law Reviews

Adam Chilton (Chicago; Google Scholar), Justin Driver (Yale), Jonathan S. Masur (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Kyle Rozema (Washington University; Google Scholar), Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale, 122 Colum. L. Rev. 331 (2022):

Columbia Law ReviewEver since Justice Lewis Powell’s opinion in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke made diversity in higher education a constitutionally acceptable rationale for affirmative action programs, the diversity rationale has received vehement criticism from across the ideological spectrum. Critics on the right argue that diversity efforts lead to “less meritorious” applicants being selected. Critics on the left charge that diversity is mere “subterfuge.” On the diversity rationale’s legitimacy, then, there is precious little diversity of thought. In particular, prominent scholars and jurists have cast doubt on the diversity rationale’s empirical foundations, claiming that it rests on an implausible and unsupported hypothesis.

To assess the diversity rationale, we conduct an empirical study of student-run law reviews.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Augmented Lawyering

John Armour (Oxford; Google Scholar), Richard Parnham (Oxford) & Mari Sako (Oxford; Google Scholar), Augmented Lawyering, 2022 U. Ill. L. Rev. 71:

Illinois Law ReviewHow will artificial intelligence (AI) and associated digital technologies reshape the work of lawyers and structure of law firms? Legal services are traditionally provided by highly-skilled humans — that is, lawyers. Dramatic recent progress in AI has triggered speculation about the extent to which automated systems may come to replace humans in legal services. A related debate is whether the legal profession’s adherence to the partnership form inhibits capital-raising necessary to invest in new technology. This Article presents what is to our knowledge the most comprehensive empirical study yet conducted into the implementation of AI in legal services, encompassing interview-based case studies and survey data. We focus on two inter-related issues: how the nature of legal services work will change, and how the firms that co-ordinate this work will be organized. A central theme is that prior debate focusing on the “human vs technology” aspect of change overlooks the way in which technology is transforming the human dimensions of legal services.

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June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Where Do We Go From Here? International Students, Post-Pandemic Law Schools, And The Possibilities Of Universal Design

Carole Silver (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Swethaa Ballakrishnen (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar), Where Do We Go From Here? International Students, Post-Pandemic Law Schools, and the Possibilities of Universal Design, 8 CJCCL 313 (2022):

Following on our earlier research on the experiences of international students, this article uses the recent global pandemic as a revealing lens to revisit structural inequalities in American law schools. Over the years, law schools have simultaneously encouraged international student enrollment and functioned in ways that have marginalized these students. We suggest that this dissonance between postured inclusion and the actual experience of exclusion these students endure highlights important ways in which law schools’ commitments to equity and inclusion more generally can appear more performative than substantial. We argue that the pandemic has made stark inequalities that have always existed, and that despite its devastating consequences, this period offers new insights that could help reshape the future of legal education.

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June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Am I Disabled? Disability Identity And Law Faculty

Katie R. Eyer (Rutgers; Google Scholar), Am I Disabled? Disability Identity and Law Faculty, 71 J. Legal Educ. __ (2022):

Journal of Legal Education (2022)This short Essay addresses the dilemmas of disability self-identification from the perspective of those who are ambiguously disabled, and calls on greater numbers of law faculty to situate themselves within, rather than outside, the disability community.

Conclusion
We have a long way to go before our law schools, and the wider legal profession, can be a truly welcoming space for people with disabilities. Currently, the best many law students with disabilities can hope for is for their accommodations to be smoothly granted, to find a few understanding professor allies, and, if they are lucky, to find community with other disabled law students. Casual bias, lower expectations, and struggles over accessibility remain a routine part of many law students’ law school experience. Out in the legal profession, those with visible disabilities are likely to face explicit bias in hiring, even as law firms purport to include disability among the categories of diversity that they value. And both within law schools and without, those with disabilities are likely to find that the structural norms of the profession celebrate exclusionary rituals of physical and mental stamina rather than value the strength and diversity of perspectives that those with nonnormative minds and bodies may bring.

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June 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Inoculating The Next Generation Of Lawyers: Mandating Substance Use And Mental Health Education For Law Students

Janet E. Stearns (Miami), Inoculating the Next Generation of Lawyers: Mandating Substance Use and Mental Health Education for Law Students, 61 U. Louisville L. Rev. __ (2022):

This articles reviews some of the major approaches for mandating an educational requirement for substance use and mental health education (SUMH) for law students, reviews some of the commonly used textbooks for Professional Responsibility and how they approach SUMH, and finally makes recommendations on best practices for SUMH education.

Conclusion
This article reflects my passionate commitment that law students would benefit from some fundamental and dedicated education around substance use and mental health challenges. This would alleviate and normalize some of the well-documented experiences that students have in law school, and also better prepare them for law practice following graduation. Addressing these issues are core elements of professional identity and deserve focused attention during the law school experience. In a perfect world, this would include (1) pre-orientation/orientation foundation, possibly in the form of an online module; (2) incorporating these topics into all required PR classes; (3) ensuring that all professional identity touchpoints have information on essential resources around SUMH including the LAPs in each jurisdiction; (4) some end of study certification to the bar or MPRE testing to signal the core importance of these topics.

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Chronicle Of Higher Education Debate: The Constitutionality Of Required Faculty Diversity Statements

Following up on last month's post, Brian Soucek (UC-Davis; Google Scholar), The Constitutionality Of Required Faculty Diversity Statements (55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 101 (2022)): 

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  How to Protect DEI Requirements From Legal Peril, by Brian Soucek:

More and more universities ask or require faculty to describe their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion when they apply for jobs, tenure, or advancement. All 10 campuses of the University of California, where I work, now ask for diversity statements, and the University of Illinois made headlines last month when it adopted a similar rule. As the mandates multiply, critics allege that they are a bad idea or, even worse, unconstitutional.

I’ll leave it to others to decide whether diversity statements are effective at promoting a more diverse faculty or a more equitable and inclusive learning environment. But as a law professor and former chair of the University of California’s systemwide academic freedom committee, I can say this: Mandatory diversity statements are constitutional — at least if they are done the right way.

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  Diversity Statements Are Still in Legal Peril, by Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar):

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June 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, June 3, 2022

Law School Pandemic Year 2: Student Perspectives On Distance Learning

Gallup and AccessLex Institute Release Part Two of Study on Law Students’ Views of Distance Learning:

Gallup Access Lex 2A new report released ... by Gallup and AccessLex Institute, Law School in a Pandemic Year 2, has found that the gaps in program quality that law students said existed between online and in-person instruction narrowed considerably since 2021 when 76% of students taking classes mostly or completely in person rated their program as excellent or good vs. 51% of those taking even just half their classes online. In 2022, 78% of students who had returned to predominantly in-person classes rated their program as excellent or good – but so did 73% of who were hybrid and 72% of those who remained mostly or completely online. Also, students in hybrid arrangements were much more likely in 2022 (53%) than in 2021 (33%) to agree their J.D. program was “worth the cost,” which tracks closely with the percentage of students taking all or most of their classes in person who said the same.

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June 3, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Adding More Sharks To The Shark Tank: Strategies For Hiring More Law Professors In Business Schools

David Nows (Central Michigan; Google Scholar), Adding More Sharks to the Shark Tank: Strategies for Allowing More Attorneys to Access Academia in Business Schools, 66 How. L.J. __ (2022):

Shark TankBecoming a law professor in a law school has become a difficult endeavor. For most candidates, the roughly 50% reduction in open positions over the past decade is discouraging. In addition, nearly all successful candidates have completed another competitive credential in addition to their J.D. degree, like a federal clerkship, an advanced degree, or a faculty fellowship at a law school. The degree of difficulty attached to becoming a law professor is likely to drive away many stellar candidates, even those candidates that dislike legal practice and are actively seeking an alternative.

However, there is another home for some of these aspiring scholars that is often unexplored: becoming faculty within a business school.

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

An Analysis Of The Efficacy Of The Bar Passage Program At Florida International Law School

Raul Ruiz (Florida International), Leveraging Noncognitive Skills to Foster Bar Exam Success: An Analysis of the Efficacy of the Bar Passage Program at FIU Law, 99 Neb. L. Rev. 141 (2020):

FIU Law (2022)With falling bar exam passage rates, many law schools have implemented bar exam preparation programs but are still struggling to improve bar exam passage rates. The increase in law school matriculants with LSAT scores below 150 had a statistically significant negative correlation with national mean MBE scores, and with the new ABA standard 316 mandating a 75% bar passage rate, law schools are facing mounting pressure to ensure that their graduates are ready and able to pass their bar examination expeditiously or risk losing ABA accreditation.

Law schools have been frustrated by the lack of results with their internal bar exam preparation programs. They often struggle to identify why their students continue to fail the bar exam. Not much has been written about the theory, design, implementation, and evaluation of an effective law school bar exam preparation program. This paper will discuss each of those areas with the goal of helping law schools achieve an important milestone: increasing bar passage rates for their students and maintaining ABA accreditation.

This paper will discuss what has caused a decrease in bar exam scores nationwide and how the bar preparation program at the FIU College of Law has counteracted declining pass rates. The focus of the bar prep program at FIU will be discussed in detail, so other law schools may utilize those same concepts.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Bluebook: 2021 v. 1976

Robert A. James (Pillsbury, San Francisco), The Bluebook Nods, 24 Green Bag 2d 335 (2021): 

Bluebook 2Generations of law students have been required to master A Uniform System of Citation, also known as the Bluebook, to pass legal writing classes or progress in coveted law review positions. A long-time practitioner compares the 2021 and 1976 versions of the manual and offers two sets of comments. First, no one should expect perfect compliance with the Bluebook inasmuch as the Bluebook itself occasionally falls short of its aspirations and ideals. Second, a blanket rule that a mathematical formula should be italicized in its entirety reveals ignorance and disrespect for the substantive content of scientific typography. The author concludes that any system of citation should honor the distinctive features of each cultural community to which reference is made—whether linguistic, musical, or technical. ...

In any work with serious application of mathematics to legal issues, though, the Bluebook should defer to the standards of the relevant discipline. The formula option in word processing applications automatically applies the above italic and roman rules, and can be used to notate vectors; at a minimum, articles certainly should not disturb what these programs produce. If this means that law review editors lacking mathematical numeracy must defer to other experts or (horrors) to the authors who have such skills, so be it. They and we should not simply italicize an entire formula to appear vaguely scientific.

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

Monday, May 30, 2022

Harvard And MIT Offer Free Open-Source Law School Casebooks

H2OMIT News, “Open Casebook” Series Will Make First-Year Law School Texts More Accessible to Students Across the United States:

Together, the MIT Press and Harvard Law School Library announce the launch of the Open Casebook series. Leveraging free and open texts created and updated by distinguished legal scholars, the series offers high-quality yet affordable printed textbooks for use in law teaching across the country, tied to online access to the works and legal opinions under open licenses.

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May 30, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Using Artificial Intelligence In The Law Review Submissions Process

Brenda M. Simon (California Western; Google Scholar), Using Artificial Intelligence in the Law Review Submissions Process, 56 U.C. Davis L. Rev. ___ (2022):

UC Davis Law ReviewThe use of artificial intelligence to help editors examine law review submissions may provide a way to improve an overburdened system. This Article is the first to explore the promise and pitfalls of using artificial intelligence in the law review submissions process.

Technology-assisted review of submissions offers many possible benefits. It can simplify preemption checks, prevent plagiarism, detect failure to comply with formatting requirements, and identify missing citations. These efficiencies may allow editors to address serious flaws in the current selection process, including the use of heuristics that may result in discriminatory outcomes and dependence on lower-ranked journals to conduct the initial review of submissions. Although editors should not rely on a score assigned by an algorithm to decide whether to accept an article, technology-assisted review could increase the efficiency of initial screening and provide feedback to editors on their selection decisions. Uncovering potential human bias in the selection process may encourage editors to develop ways to minimize its harmful effects.

Despite these benefits, using artificial intelligence to streamline the submissions process raises significant concerns.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How To Engage Law Students In The Online Learning Environment

Andrele Brutus St. Val (Pittsburgh), Survey Says—How to Engage Law Students in the Online Learning Environment, 70 J. Legal Educ. __ (2021):

Journal of Legal Education (2022)The pandemic experience has made it clear that not everyone loves teaching or learning remotely. Many professors and students alike are eager to return to the classroom. However, our experiences over the last year and a half have also demonstrated the potentials and possibilities of learning online and have caused many professors to recalibrate their approaches to digital learning. While the tools for online learning were available well before March of 2020, many instructors are only now beginning to capitalize on their potential. The author of this article worked in online legal education before the pandemic, utilizing these tools and exploring ways to make the online experience more effective. This article is the result of her research on online legal education prior to the pandemic, which sheds light on future possibilities for online learning in law schools in post-pandemic times. 

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Constitutionality Of Required Faculty Diversity Statements

Brian Soucek (UC-Davis; Google Scholar), Diversity Statements, 55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 101 (2022):

UC Davis Law ReviewUniversities increasingly require ‘diversity statements’ from faculty seeking jobs, tenure, or promotion. But statements describing faculty’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion are also increasingly under attack. Criticisms first made in tweets and blog posts have expanded into prominent opinion pieces and, more recently, law review articles. And the attacks are having an effect. Within universities, faculty-wide resolutions for and against mandatory diversity statements have been called and academic freedom committees have been asked to intervene. Outside universities, lawyers are recruiting plaintiffs to challenge diversity statement requirements in court.

Behind all the rhetoric, the arguments made about diversity statements are, at heart, legal claims — and serious ones at that. Critics allege that universities are engaging in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, violating their faculty’s academic freedom, and imposing political litmus tests akin to the loyalty oaths struck down during the Cold War era.

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

The Pro Bono Penalty: Extracurricular Activities And Demographic Disparities In Bar Exam Success

Christopher Birdsall (Boise State) & Seth Gershenson (American; Google Scholar), The Pro Bono Penalty: Extracurricular Activities and Demographic Disparities in Bar Exam Success:

Demographic disparities in bar exam pass rates are problematic but poorly understood. We investigate a possible explanation: participation in extracurricular activities, which could either distract from bar exam preparation or motivate and prepare students to succeed. Generally, participation in extracurricular activities while in law school does not play a large role in bar exam success. However, there is a significant, arguably causal, penalty associated with one particular activity—pro bono work—most notably in lower-ranked law schools. This penalty is sizable: pro bono work is associated with a 5 percentage point (6%) decrease in the chances of passing the bar exam on the first attempt. This penalty is largest for Black and female students and may explain as much as 20% of the Black-white gap in first-attempt bar pass rates.

Pro Bono

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

Friday, May 13, 2022

Kuehn: The Economic Value Of Law Clinic Legal Assistance

Kuehn (2019)Tax Prof Blog op-ed:  The Economic Value of Law Clinic Legal Assistance by Robert Kuehn (Washington University):

Each year law school clinics provide free legal assistance to tens of thousands of clients, most of whom would otherwise go unrepresented. The work of clinic students and faculty allows clients to advance or defend their rights or obtain assistance or funds to which they are entitled, assistance that is in many ways invaluable to clients and their communities. While the benefits of clinic work can be difficult to monetize, it is possible to estimate the dollar value of the millions of hours of free legal assistance law clinics provide each year to individuals, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations. As explained below, law clinic students alone provide tens of millions of dollars in pro bono legal services each year.

During academic year 2020-21, 114,520 J.D. students were enrolled in ABA-approved law schools.[i] The ABA ceased collecting data on law clinic course enrollment in 2016. But in the six years prior, schools reported that enrollment each year in their clinics (“seats filled”) was between 85% to 76% of the total number of seats available for enrollment (“seats available”), decreasing in percentage each year from 2011 to 2016.[ii] Because there is no evidence of a noticeable increase in enrollment in experiential courses since 2016,[iii] a reasonable assumption is that of the 32,062 reported seats available in 2020-21, around 24,000 students (75% of 32,062) actually enrolled in one of the school’s clinics (21% of all J.D.s). Only a handful of clinics charge a fee for their services and approximately 10% of the clinics in the 2019-20 Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) survey might assist some for-profit organizations, though even those are generally of limited means.[iv] After excluding those categories of clinic work, it is reasonable to conservatively assume that in 2020-21, approximately 22,000 clinic students provided their free assistance just to individuals, government entities, and non-profits.

The CSALE survey collected information on 950 law school clinics. The median number of credits awarded for just the clinic student’s field or casework (i.e., non-classroom activity) on behalf of clients was 3.5, with each credit representing 42.5 hours of work under the minimum standard set by the ABA. The average clinic student, therefore, worked 149 hours during the term on the casework portion of their law clinic course. Thus, during the 2020-21 academic year, the 22,000 students in law school clinics are estimated to have provided approximately 3,278,000 hours of free legal assistance to individuals, government entities, and non-profits.

The Supreme Court held that in awarding legal fees to prevailing parties, paralegals and law clerks are to be awarded fees at market rates, and courts also award fees for comparable clinic student work at market rates.[v] One national survey of typical billing rates for paralegals found that law firms charge their clients between $100-$200 per hour, with most falling in the median of that range;[vi] another survey found that rates for non-lawyers across states ranged from $99 to $220 per hour.[vii] If law student work is conservatively valued at a market rate of $100 per hour, as cases support,[viii] clinic students are estimated to have provided over $325 million in free legal assistance in 2020-21.

Clinic Students

2020-21 Hours

Value/Hour

Total Value

Market Rate

3,278,000

$100.00

$327,800,000

Wage Rate

3,278,000

$27.03

$88,604,000

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May 13, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, May 12, 2022

LoPucki: A Comprehensive Theory And Style For Using PowerPoint To Teach Law

Lynn M. LoPucki (UCLA), The PowerPoint Channel, 17 U. Mass. L. Rev. 41 (2022):

PowerPoint 1This Article is the first to present a comprehensive theory and style for using PowerPoint to teach law. The theory is that presentation software adds a channel of communication that enables the use of images in combination with words. Studies have shown that combination to substantially enhance learning. The style is based on an extensive literature regarding the use of PowerPoint in teaching law and other higher education subjects as well as the author’s experimentation with PowerPoint over two decades. The Article states fourteen principles for slide or slide sequence design, provides the arguments from the literature for and against them, and explains the techniques by which the author implements them. It argues that PowerPoint is effective for eight kinds of presentation:

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May 12, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Deborah Jones Merritt Center For The Advancement Of Justice

Claudia Angelos (NYU), Mary Lu Bilek (Former Dean, CUNY, Massachusetts) & Joan W. Howarth (UNLV; Dean Emerita, Michigan State; Google Scholar), The Deborah Jones Merritt Center for the Advancement of Justice, 82 Ohio St. L.J. 911 (2021):

Ohio State Law JournalWhen invited to write an essay on clinical legal education honoring our friend, we were struck by the importance of a focus on clinical legal education in any collection of work paying tribute to Professor Deborah Jones Merritt. Legal education has benefited from a fifty-year movement for clinical education. This movement necessarily interrogates and seeks to overcome the anachronistic, inherited Langdellian paradigm that dominates and continues to define the curricula and policies of our law schools. But the movement for clinical education has been exponentially confounded by contemporary legal education’s shape as a pyramid of statuses and privileges accumulated over time and embedded in the straight, white, male, ableist, classist structures of American universities, our legal system, and our laws.

Progress has been made. Thousands of lawyers now enter the profession with the advantage of having practiced under the supervision of faculty who choose to live in the fray of the reality of clients’ lives, the ambiguity of the real world, and the politics of the profession. Thousands of lawyers have learned through clinical education the habits of planning, doing, and reflecting that are otherwise invisible in the academy.

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May 12, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Law Students Left Behind: Law School's Role In Remedying The Devastating Effects Of Federal Education Policy

Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga), Law Students Left Behind: Law School's Role in Remedying the Devastating Effects of Federal Education Policy, 107 Minn. L. Rev. __ (2023):

Minnesota Law Review (2021)Due to the unintended consequences of misdirected federal education policy, students come to law school with underdeveloped critical thinking and cognitive adaptability skills. As the products of the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”) and its progeny, students educated in the United States after 2002 excel at memorization and multiple-choice exam strategies but were not afforded the practice needed to fully develop other critical professional attributes. This is problematic as these are the very characteristics law students need to be a successful student and lawyer. Further, legal employers are demanding their new lawyers possess these capabilities upon graduation from law school. The Uniform Bar Exam may also be substantially changing to test these essential qualities.

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

A Human Being Wrote This Law Review Article: GPT-3 And The Practice Of Law

Amy B. Cyphert (ASPIRE), A Human Being Wrote This Law Review Article: GPT-3 and the Practice of Law, 55 UC Davis L. Rev. 401 (2021):

UC Davis Law ReviewArtificial intelligence tools can now “write” in such a sophisticated manner that they fool people into believing that a human wrote the text. None are better at writing than GPT-3, released in 2020 for beta testing and coming to commercial markets in 2021. GPT-3 was trained on a massive dataset that included scrapes of language from sources ranging from the NYTimes to Reddit boards. And so, it comes as no surprise that researchers have already documented incidences of bias where GPT-3 spews toxic language. But because GPT-3 is so good at “writing,” and can be easily trained to write in a specific voice — from classic Shakespeare to Taylor Swift — it is poised for wide adoption in the field of law. 

This Article explores the ethical considerations that will follow from GPT-3’s introduction into lawyers’ practices. GPT-3 is new, but the use of AI in the field of law is not. AI has already thoroughly suffused the practice of law. GPT-3 is likely to take hold as well, generating some early excitement that it and other AI tools could help close the access to justice gap. That excitement should nevertheless be tempered with a realistic assessment of GPT-3’s tendency to produce biased outputs. 

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The ABA Should Be Required To Disclose Law School Accreditation Information

Following up on last week's post, FedSoc Debate: Should The ABA Be Stripped Of Its Monopoly Law School Accrediting Power?: Henry Webb (Palm Beach Atlantic University), Patrick Baker (Tennessee) & 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. ___ (2022):

ABA (2022)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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May 10, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Symposium: Epoch — Going Beyond A Racial Reckoning

Symposium, Epoch: Going Beyond A Racial Reckoning, 44 Seattle U. L. Rev. 623-654 (2021):

  • Seattle University Law ReviewForeword, 44 Seattle U. L. Rev. 623 (2021)
  • Michael Rogers (J.D. 2021, Seattle), Hannah Hamley (J.D. 2021, Seattle) & Rayshaun D. Williams (J.D. 2022, Seattle), Introductory Remarks, 44 Seattle U. L. Rev. 625 (2021)
  • Mario Barnes (UC-Irvine; Former Dean, University of Washington), Majidah Cochran (J.D. 2021, Seattle), Danielle Conway (Dean, Penn State-Dickinson), Tamara Lawson (Dean, St. Thomas-FL), L. Song Richardson (President, Colorado College; Former Dean, UC-Irvine) & Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Dean, Boston University), Deans Roundtable, 44 Seattle U. L. Rev. 627 (2021)
  • Marissa Jackson Sow (St. John's; Google Scholar), Whiteness as Contract, 44 Seattle U. L. Rev. 635 (2021)

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May 5, 2022 in Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Choudhury & Rana: Addressing Asian (In)Visibility In The Academy

Cyra Akila Choudhury (Florida Int'l; Google Scholar) & Shruti Rana (Indiana-Maurer), Addressing Asian (In)Visibility in the Academy, 51 Sw. L. Rev. 287 (2022):

In this Essay, we first examine the dynamics of representation and how they impact and circumscribe the experiences, opportunities, and advancement of Asian American law faculty. We aim to draw attention to the real rather than perceived problems facing Asian American law faculty as well as Asian Americans in the legal profession more generally. We argue that while Asian Americans are, in fact, diverse in their identities and experiences, the predominant perception about them in the legal academy is that they are a monolithic group assimilated to the dominant culture and reflect various iterations of the “model minority myth.” This narrative not only obscures the complexity of the discrimination against Asian American law faculty but also allows the academy to blame individuals for their own marginalization, ignoring the systemic forces at work. Together, these factors elide and mischaracterize the challenges Asian American law faculty face and create obstacles to effective solutions—all with a high human cost.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hamilton & Bilionis: Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals

Neil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas; Google Scholar) & Louis D. Bilionis (Cincinnati), Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals (Cambridge University Press 2022):

Cambridge 3Law schools currently do an excellent job of helping students to 'think like a lawyer,' but empirical data show that clients, legal employers, and the legal system need students to develop a wider range of competencies. This book helps legal educators to understand these competencies and provides practical ways to build them into a law school curriculum. Based on recommendations from the American Bar Association, the American Association of Law Schools, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it will equip students with the skills they need not only to think but to act and feel like a lawyer. With this proposed model, students will internalize the need for professional development toward excellence, their responsibility to others, a client-centered approach to problem solving, and strong well-being practices. These four goals constitute a lawyer's professional identity, and this book empowers legal educators to foster each student's development of a professional identity that leads to a gratifying career that serves society well. This title is Open Access.

Reviews:

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May 3, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Brown & Dau-Schmidt: Racial And Ethnic Ancestry Of The Nation’s Black Law Students

Kevin D. Brown (Indiana) & Kenneth Glenn Dau-Schmidt (Indiana; Google Scholar), Racial and Ethnic Ancestry of the Nation’s Black Law Students: An Analysis of Data From The LSSSE Survey:

Affirmative action continues to be one of the most controversial programs in American society. For example, in 1996, California voters adopted Proposition 209, a constitutional amendment that banned “preferential treatment” based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in college admissions. In the November 2020 elections, California voters rejected Proposition 16, which would have repealed that ban, by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. The First Circuit affirmed the lower court decision that Harvard’s affirmative action plan met constitutional requirements in the Fall of 2020. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court. On June 21, 2021, the Court invited the Acting Solicitor General to file a brief expressing views on the case. And, anyone familiar with affirmative action, also recalls that at the close of Justice O’Connor’s opinion for the five person majority in Grutter v Bolinger she wrote: “We expect that twenty-five years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.” The precise implications of O’Connor's twenty-five-year period are debatable. At one extreme, it is an essential part of the holding of Grutter. As a result, affirmative action policies must end in twenty-five years. At the other extreme, it is a time to reflect upon where selective higher education programs and American society are with respect to the continued need for considerations of race and ethnicity in the admissions process. Arguably, since the Court did not reiterate the twenty-five year period in its decisions in either Fisher I or Fisher II, it may prove to be irrelevant. Regardless of how the federal courts ultimately resolve the 2028 deadline, one thing is clear, affirmative action will remain a controversial program under constant scrutiny.

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

Friday, April 29, 2022

Measuring The Conservative Penalty And Liberal Bonus With Updated 2023 U.S. News Rankings Data

Michael Conklin (Angelo State; Google Scholar), Law School Rankings and Political Ideology: Measuring the Conservative Penalty and Liberal Bonus with Updated 2023 Rankings Data:

US News Law Logo (2022)In 2020, novel research was conducted to measure whether, and to what extent, conservative law schools are punished and liberal law schools are rewarded in the U.S. News & World Report peer rankings. The study found a drastic conservative penalty and liberal bonus that amounted to a difference in the peer rankings of twenty-eight spots. This Article updates the research using the latest political affiliation data and the most recent 2023 rankings data. The updated results produce an astounding thirty-two-place difference in the peer rankings attributable to political ideology. This increase from the 2020 research elicits discussion regarding the effects of recent societal changes in polarization and civility. 

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Merritt-Orious Path For Lawyer Licensing

Carol L. Chomsky (Minnesota), Andrea Anne Curcio (Georgia State) & Eileen R. Kaufman (Touro), A Merritt-Orious Path for Lawyer Licensing, 82 Ohio St. L.J. 883 (2021)

More than two decades ago, Professor Deborah Merritt turned her attention to responding to the then-proliferating efforts to raise state passing scores for the bar examination. Writing with Lowell Hargens and Barbara Reskin, two professors of sociology, Professor Merritt challenged the methodology of the studies that purported to show the need to “raise the bar.” In the process, she presciently raised broader concerns about the validity of the bar exam to assess lawyer competence and the impact of the bar exam on the diversity of the legal profession. In the years since, Professor Merritt has continued to critique the bar exam, and her work has laid a foundation for the work of many others—including the authors of this piece—challenging the validity and adequacy of the current lawyer licensing system.

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

'More Than The Numbers': Empirical Evidence Of An Innovative Approach To Law School Admissions

Anahid Gharakhanian (Southwestern), Natalie Rodriguez (Southwestern) & Elizabeth Anderson (Embraced Wisdom Resource Group), 'More than the Numbers': Empirical Evidence of an Innovative Approach to Admissions, 106 Minn. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Minnesota Law Review (2021)“I am proof that your LSAT score does not define you; law schools need to understand that every student’s lived experience is unique. Thanks to Southwestern’s admissions process I was able to show that I’m more than the numbers on my application.” This second-year law student was admitted to Southwestern Law School and went on to place top 20% after her first year following an admissions waitlist interview, based on Southwestern’s first-of-its-kind empirically-based approach that utilizes factors beyond the typical numerical indicators that drive admissions decisions — in particular, the Law School Admission Test — and limit access to law school and the legal profession. This scalable toolkit is connected to preparation for practice, may improve diversity outcomes using a race-neutral approach, and is a low-cost supplement to other admissions tools.

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

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Yale Call For Papers: The Legal Treatise— Past, Present, And Future

The Lillian Goldman Law Library and Law Library Journal, Call for Papers – The Legal Treatise: Past, Present, and Future, 29 Conn. Ins. L.J. ___ (2022):

Yale Law Logo (2020)The Lillian Goldman Law Library, in partnership with Law Library Journal, invites paper proposals​ for a symposium on the Legal Treatise to be held at Yale Law School on Friday, March 24, 2023.

The purpose of this symposium is to examine the many aspects of the history, present circumstances, and future of the legal treatise as a source and genre. Possible topics include but are not limited to: the origins of the treatise, the role of the treatise in English and American law practice and legal culture during particular periods in history, the commodification of the treatise, international and comparative perspectives on the treatise, microhistories of specific treatise titles, biographical accounts of treatise writers, rivalries between treatise writers, treatise authorship successions, reflections on contemporary treatise writing and publishing, the rise of the scholarly monograph, the (in)accessibility of the treatise, the transition of the treatise from a print resource to an electronic resource, the decline of the multi-volume treatise in law practice and legal scholarship, and theories about and proposals for the future of the treatise.

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

Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Gender Pay Gap And High-Achieving Women In The Legal Profession

Milan Markovic (Texas A&M; Google Scholar) & Gabriele Plickert (Cal-State Pomona; Google Scholar), The Gender Pay Gap and High-Achieving Women in the Legal Profession:

Although women have made significant strides in the legal profession, female attorneys continue to earn far less than male attorneys. Relying on survey data from a large sample of full-time attorneys in Texas, we find a gender pay gap of $35,000 at the median that cannot be explained by differences in human capital or occupational segregation. We also provide evidence that the legal market especially disadvantages women who excel in law school. Whereas high academic achievement boosts male lawyers’ incomes substantially, it does not have the same effect on female lawyers’ incomes. High-achieving female lawyers earn less than high-achieving male lawyers across practice settings and earn less than their lower-achieving male counterparts in private practice.

Figure 1

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Franklin & Bahadur: Directed Questions A Non-Socratic Dialogue About Non-Socratic Teaching

Kris Franklin (New York Law School) & Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn), Directed Questions a Non-Socratic Dialogue about Non-Socratic Teaching, 99 U. Detroit Mercy L. Rev. __ (2021):

Legal pedagogy can change for the better.

Despite frequent criticism of Socratic and case-method teaching, the core teaching in most foundational law classes has been remarkably stagnant. But in a time of turmoil and reexamination of the traditions we have all inherited, there is also opportunity for meaningful adaptation to the modern era. This Article introduces Directed Questions methodology as an alternative to the traditional teaching models currently operating in most law schools. Directed reading pedagogy allows legal educators to seamlessly transition to a modern and effective pedagogy incorporating best practices which recognizes that fostering inclusion and the success of diverse students is mandatory in post-Langdellian legal education. 

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April 20, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Study Says Women Aren't Publishing Less During The Pandemic

Inside Higher Ed, Study Says Women Aren't Publishing Less During the Pandemic:

A new study of COVID-19–era publication patterns by gender contradicts earlier research on the topic, suggesting that women haven’t published less than they did prior to the pandemic, over all [COVID-19 Effect on the Gender Gap in Academic Publishing].

What the study calls gender inequality has grown in some fields during this period of increased caregiving demands and quarantine, however—in psychology, math and philosophy, specifically.

Gender

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April 20, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Law Firm Dynamics: Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game

Tom Kimbrough (SMU; Google Scholar), Law Firm Dynamics: Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game:

This paper concerns the business of law, a subject ignored by legal academia and sugarcoated by the organized bar. If law professors express little or no interest in this subject, their students most certainly do. Indeed, I have found that students are desperately hungry for information on the day-today realities of working in a law firm. Students are especially keen to learn about possible paths for career advancement within firms, across them, or across the organizations served by the firms.

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April 20, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

What The Access To Justice Crisis Means For Legal Education

Kathryne M. Young (UMass; Google Scholar), What the Access to Justice Crisis Means for Legal Education, 11 UC Irvine L. Rev. 811 (2021):

Despite 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. If we assume that lawyers should have a major role in solving the access to justice crisis, as opposed to simply meeting individual legal needs, law schools must prepare lawyers to serve this role. I point to three categories of improvement that centering access to justice would necessitate: teaching a greater versatility of thinking and problem-solving, imparting a broader understanding of the ecosystem of justiciable problems and lawyers’ place in it, and structuring law school to impart the cognitive cornerstones needed for successful legal practice.

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

Monday, April 18, 2022

Heald: The Law Review Scam—Humanely Ending Law School Exceptionalism

TaxProf Blog Op-Ed:  The Law Review Scam: Humanely Ending Law School Exceptionalism, by Paul Heald (Illinois; Google Scholar):

HealdMost American law school professors will tell you that anonymous peer-review of article submissions is bunk.  They purport to have a better method for determining which articles land in the most respected journals—delegate acceptance decisions entirely to law students who operate their own law journals.  You heard correctly.  It’s law students, not Harvard law professors, who decide what gets published in Harvard Law Review (and in all of the other 654 student-edited law journals in the US).[1]  It’s time to consider change.

The Power of Inertia:  The law review system emerged in the late 19th century at a time when law schools were professional training grounds with little or no pretense of producing scholarly research on a par with other university departments.  Articles were devoted to nuts-and-bolts legal questions, often aimed at practitioners, and law students provided a real service to the profession by publishing legal updates on a regular basis (very frequently authored by the professors at the same institution as the student editors).

Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, law schools  moved beyond the trade-school model and aimed to assimilate themselves into the traditional research mission of the university.  Articles became more scholarly, more theoretical, more interdisciplinary, and more empirical.  Unfortunately, the law review system did not evolve in parallel with the maturation of law school research ambitions.  Law students who probably did a competent job in 1920 of reading the cases and statutes discussed in a 5-page submission (the average article at top journals is now 63 pages)[2] cannot in 2022 be expected to judge the originality of a complex interdisciplinary article or check the regression analysis conducted in empirical research.

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April 18, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Call for Proposals: The COVID Care Crisis In The Legal Academia, Part II

Call for Proposals: The COVID Care Crisis Symposium, Part II: Imagining Solutions and Taking Action (June 16, 2022):

The COVID Care Crisis Symposium held in January 2021 convened dozens of scholars to theorize about what the organizers labeled as the unfolding “COVID Care Crisis” and its effects on legal academia. During that two-day event, scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners shared the difficulties of managing the demands of work and the constantly shifting changes to care infrastructures. The Symposium amplified the voices of caregivers and sounded the alarm on how disparities, if left unaddressed, could alter the landscape of academia long into the future and further marginalize women and scholars of color as well as other primary caregiving faculty and staff. Many speakers published their Symposium papers in a just-released volume in FIU Law Review as well as in other venues.

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April 6, 2022 in Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Indiana Symposium: The COVID Care Crisis And Its Implications For Legal Academia

Symposium, The COVID Care Crisis and its Implications for Legal Academia (Bloomington, IN), 16 FIU L. Rev. 1-185 (2021):

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April 5, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Vischer: Christian Nationalism And The Rule Of Law

Robert K. Vischer (Interim President & Former Dean, St. Thomas; Google Scholar), Christian Nationalism and the Rule of Law:

Current threats to the rule of law in the United States emerge, at least in part, from a nationalism shaped by a distinctly American vision of Christianity. Defenders of the rule of law must therefore respond in terms that confront the religious dimension of the threat directly. Religiously affiliated law schools should be key contributors to this conversation, modeling a faith-shaped discourse that avoids invoking Christianity as a conversation-stopper, as a signal of self-righteousness, or as a means to stir up hatred of “the other.” How might the public witness of our faith support, rather than impede, the rule of law?

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April 3, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Sugin Presents Reinventing Law School, Financial Structure: Public Benefit, Private Finance Today At Duke

Linda Sugin (Fordham; Google Scholar) presents Reinventing Law School, Financial Structure: Public Benefit, Private Finance at Duke today as part of its Tax Policy Seminar hosted by Lawrence Zelenak:

Sugin_Linda_Portrait_2127_smChapters 1 and 2 argued that the world needs compassionate and committed lawyers, and presented a vision for law schools that would prepare students to become leaders in a just, equal, and sustainable world. Chapter 3 focused inward and argued that law schools have not adjusted their methods or goals to accommodate today’s students and the challenges they face in the profession. This chapter continues with an introspective look at the financing of legal education. It argues that the current system for financing legal education is wholly unsuited to the institutional role that law schools must fulfill.

March 31, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink