Paul L. Caron
Dean




Thursday, January 27, 2022

Student Grade Satisfaction Drives Teaching Evaluations

Vladimir Kogan, Brandon Genetin, Joyce Chen & Alan Kalish (Ohio State), Students' Grade Satisfaction Influences Evaluations of Teaching: Evidence from Individual-level Data and an Experimental Intervention:

Student surveys are widely used to evaluate university teaching and increasingly adopted at the K-12 level, although there remains considerable debate about what they measure. Much disagreement focuses on the well-documented correlation between student grades and their evaluations of instructors. Using individual-level data from 19,000 evaluations of 700 course sections at a flagship public university, we leverage both within-course and within-student variation to rule out popular explanations for this correlation. Specifically, we show that the relationship cannot be explained by instructional quality, workload, grading stringency, or student sorting into courses. Instead, student grade satisfaction — regardless of the underlying cause of the grades — appears to be an important driver of course evaluations.

Grade

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January 27, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Legal Writing Professors, Salary Disparities, And The Impossibility Of 'Improved Status'

Amy Soled (Rutgers), Legal Writing Professors, Salary Disparities, and the Impossibility of 'Improved Status', 24 J. Legal Writing 47 (2020):

There should be a concerted effort to eliminate the wage discrimination experienced by legal writing faculty. A legal writing professor’s status cannot truly improve until the pay gap that exists between those who teach legal writing and those who teach other legal topics is closed. Until law schools address the economic disparity between these two classes of professors, a legal writing professor’s status will remain mired below that of her counterparts who teach other areas of the law.

This essay first highlights the pay disparities that exist among doctrinal faculty and legal writing professors. It then demonstrates the negative effect those disparities have on the employee and the institution. Finally, it suggests ways to achieve pay parity and improve the status of legal writing professors.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

St. Louis Symposium: Teaching Law Online

Symposium, Teaching Law Online, 65 St. Louis U. L.J. 455-726 (2021):

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January 25, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Cowan & Cutler: Cross-Fertilizing The Tax Classroom

Mark J. Cowan (Boise State) & Joshua Cutler (Boise State), Cross-Fertilizing the Tax Classroom, 19 U. Pitt. Tax Rev. ___ (2022):

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2021)Taxation, embedded in both the legal and accounting professions, is taught in law schools and business schools. Courses in the former develop the skills of future tax attorneys, who will engage in tax structuring, document drafting, and litigation. Courses in the latter develop the skills of future CPAs, who will engage in tax compliance. But both lawyers and CPAs do tax research, tax planning, and represent clients on audit. The skills both professionals need and the content they are taught in both schools overlap to a great extent. (Indeed, masters of taxation courses in accounting programs often use law school casebooks.) Because of the overlap, there is much that teachers in both schools can learn from one another. In this contribution, we examine ways that tax accounting teaching approaches can be used in the law school classroom and vice versa. 

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January 25, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Microaggressions In The Context Of Academic Communities

Catharine P. Wells (Boston College; Google Scholar), Microaggressions in the Context of Academic Communities, 12 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 319 (2013):

In the late 1990s, I was invited to speak on a panel about the difficulties encountered by women in the legal academy. In this connection, I wrote a paper about microaggressions in which I used some of my own experiences as the basis for analysis. The frequent response to my examples was, “That can’t be true!” or “Why are you so sensitive?” Of course, neither of these reactions came from other women or men of color. But the response was telling. What seemed burdensome to me was invisible or seemingly harmless to the group of white men that dominated most law schools. In this context, the publication of Presumed Incompetent1 is an important milestone. First, it demonstrates that little has changed in the academic landscape. Second, it describes the especially vulnerable position still occupied by women of color. Third, by bundling these stories, the book makes skeptical responses less viable—we are telling the truth and we are not exceptionally sensitive.

Of course, the past few decades have brought some progress. Although the book makes it clear that the academic landscape is still littered with landmines for women of color, it is also true that the pool of tenured faculties has become less overwhelmingly white and male. This creates important opportunities for discussion and change. White women, in particular, can play a constructive role but only if we recognize that our hard won places in the establishment create the risk of blindness. Unless we remain alert, a microaggressive climate may become as invisible to us as it has been to our male colleagues.

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

Monday, January 24, 2022

Leadership Evolution: The Rise Of Lawyers In The C-Suite

Garry Jenkins (Dean, Minnesota; Google Scholar) & Jon J. Lee (Minnesota; moving to Oklahoma), Leadership Evolution: The Rise of Lawyers in the C-Suite, 96 Tul. L. Rev. __ (2022):

Tulane Law ReviewThe traditional thinking about the path to the top corporate executive leadership posts, reaching the so-called C-suite, is that it begins with earning an MBA degree. By contrast, the JD degree is thought of as one that prepares graduates for the practice of law, for government service, or for public interest advocacy. Since lawyers have historically been trained to protect clients from risk, law is not associated with senior business leadership. Yet, an evolving and accelerating trend is emerging: more lawyers are reaching or crossing over to become part of top corporate management teams. We present findings from our empirical study on corporate leadership profiles that documents a rise in the status of and opportunities for corporate lawyer-leaders and tracks major shifts in lawyers holding senior executive posts over time, thereby challenging the conventional wisdom on corporate talent management.

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

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Modern Diploma Privilege: A Path Rather Than A Gate

Catherine Martin Christopher (Texas Tech), Modern Diploma Privilege: A Path Rather Than a Gate:

This article proposes a modern diploma privilege, a licensure framework that allows state licensure authorities to identify what competencies are expected of first-year attorneys, then partner with law schools to assess those competencies. Freed from the format and timing of a bar exam, schools can assess a broader range of competencies over longer time horizons. This will allow the development of law school curricula aimed at preparing students to assist clients rather than to pass the bar exam. The modern diploma privilege is structured as an ongoing partnership between licensure authorities and schools, which means that changes can be easily made to the list of desired competencies and/or the assessment methods. This in turn allows for a more nimble licensure mechanism that can quickly adapt to changes in the evolving market for legal services.

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

AI, Law Schools, And Bar Exams

Lance B. Eliot (Codex: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics), The Reasoned Case For Teaching About AI In Law Schools For Law Students:

Stanford CodexA perhaps surprisingly controversial question is whether or not law schools should be offering a formal class on the topic of AI and the law, and if so, additional queries arise about whether such an offering ought to be optional versus required, techie-oriented, or law-focused, etc. Let’s unpack the matter and see.

Lance B. Eliot (Codex: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics), AI-Enabled Interrogators For Attorney Bar Exam Taking:

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

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Brown: Stereotypes, Sexism And Superhuman Faculty

Teneille R. Brown (Utah; Google Scholar), Stereotypes, Sexism and Superhuman Faculty, 16 Fla. Int'l L. Rev. __ (2021):

This symposium article explores how law professors with caretaking responsibilities struggled so greatly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because legal academia prioritizes masculine ideals of competence over warmth, faculty were expected to suppress their emotions and mental health needs in order to maintain the appearance of competence. While students were allowed to be seen as vulnerable individuals needing accommodations, we did not extend this same compassion to our faculty colleagues. 

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

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Bob Jones, Critical Race Theory, And Democracy

Lynn Lu (CUNY; Google Scholar), Who’s Afraid of Bob Jones?: “Fundamental National Public Policy” and Critical Race Theory in a Delicate Democracy, 25 CUNY L. Rev. ___ (2022):

In Summer of 2021, Republican legislators across the United States introduced a host of bills to prohibit government funding for schools or agencies that teach critical race theory (“CRT”), described by the American Association of Law Schools not as a single doctrine but a set of “frameworks” to “explain and illustrate how structural racism produces racial inequity within our social, economic, political, legal, and educational systems[,] even absent individual racist intent.” Characterizing such an explicitly race-conscious analysis of legal and social institutions as “divisive,” opponents of CRT, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, labeled it “nothing short of state-sponsored and state-sanctioned racism.”

The political campaign to “Stop CRT,” as articulated by strategist Christopher Rufo, seeks to redirect the time-honored civil-rights strategy of defunding racially discriminatory social institutions for use against race-conscious efforts to remedy the ongoing disparate racial, economic, and other social effects perpetuated by the same institutions. The movement to Stop CRT thus seeks to freeze civil rights progress where it stood decades ago, as when the Supreme Court acknowledged a “fundamental national public policy” against racial segregation in its 1983 decision in the notorious case of Bob Jones University v. United States, while leaving unresolved vital questions about whether and how to allocate public resources affirmatively to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in democratic society.

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

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Delgado: Groundhog Law

Richard Delgado (Alabama; Google Scholar), Groundhog Law, 21 J.L. Society 1 (2021):

Is law an academic discipline like chemistry, history, or English that belongs on a university campus? Rodrigo and the professor discuss an innocent question by a conference attender who wanted to know why legal knowledge never seems to advance. Rodrigo and the professor are struck by how legal scholarship fails to pass law-review muster unless each statement comes accompanied by a footnote reference to a past writer who said exactly the same thing. They ponder the ways this mindset resembles Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the movie Groundhog Day.

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

From Academic Freedom To Cancel Culture: Silencing Black Women In The Legal Academy

Renee Nicole Allen (St. John's), From Academic Freedom to Cancel Culture: Silencing Black Women in the Legal Academy, 68 UCLA L. Rev. 364 (2021):

In 1988, Black women law professors formed the Northeast Corridor Collective of Black Women Law Professors, a network of Black women in the legal academy. They supported one another’s scholarship, shared personal experiences of systemic gendered racism, and helped one another navigate the law school white space. A few years later, their stories were transformed into articles that appeared in a symposium edition of the Berkeley Women’s Law Journal. Since then, Black women and women of color have published articles and books about their experiences with presumed incompetence, outsider status, and silence. The story of Black women in the legal academy has been told. And, in 2021, contemporary voices resemble voices from long ago.

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

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, And Community Values

G.S. Hans (Vanderbilt), Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, and Community Values, 27 Clinical L. Rev. 253 (2021):

This Essay explores clinical hiring practices as an expression of community values. In particular, it discusses how lawyers become clinical faculty to reflect on whether and how prior clinical teaching experience should be assessed for entry-level clinical applicants in order to effectuate equity and inclusion within law schools and the clinical community. Publicly available data suggest that a majority of recent entry-level clinical faculty have prior clinical teaching experience as fellows or staff attorneys. What does this apparent hiring pref- erence for prior teaching experience mean for the composition of the clinical community, especially with respect to equity and inclusion? 

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

Learning Outcomes In A Flipped Law School Classroom

Katharine Traylor Schaffzin (Dean, Memphis; Google Scholar), Learning Outcomes in a Flipped Classroom: A Comparison of Civil Procedure II Test Scores Between Students in a Traditional Class & a Flipped Class, 46 U. Mem. L. Rev. 661 (2016):

By now, many legal educators have heard of a “flipped classroom,” even if they may not be familiar with its meaning. The odds are great that more and more law students have experienced a flipped classroom in high school, college, or even in law school, although they may be unfamiliar with the pedagogical term. After learning about how the flipped classroom is being adapted for the law school course, I became convinced that such an approach to teaching could benefit my students’ learning outcomes.

In January 2014, I decided to adapt my own Civil Procedure II materials to this new format. Unbeknownst to my students, I tracked the performance of this class to compare it to that of my Civil Procedure II class from the preceding year. Assigning the same readings from the same texts in both 2013 and 2014, I changed only the mode in which I delivered the material to my students. Information I had previously presented to my class in 2013 in the form of a lecture interspersed with Socratic dialogue I now provided to the 2014 class online in advance of class and indefinitely thereafter in the form of PowerPoint slides with my lecture interposed as voiceover. 

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

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Kuehn: Shifting Law School Faculty Demographics

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Shifting Law School Faculty Demographics, by Robert Kuehn (Washington University; Google Scholar):

In 1980, one-third of law students and only 14% of all law teachers were female, and a mere 9% of students and 4% of faculty were identified as non-white. Today, law faculties are more diverse by gender and race/ethnicity. Yet, the demographics of faculty subgroups diverge widely and, importantly, faculty remain less diverse than their students.

Focusing principally on law clinic and field placement teachers (full time, excluding fellows), over two-thirds identified as female (cis or trans) in the latest 2019-20 Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) survey. The graph below reflects a trend of increasingly female clinical faculty beginning in the late 1980s/early 1990s and continuing through all five tri-annual CSALE surveys:[1]

Kuehn 1B

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

Third-Party Sexual Harassment: The Challenge Of Title IX Obligations For Law School Clinics

Ty Alper (UC-Berkeley), Third-Party Sexual Harassment: The Challenge of Title IX Obligations for Law School Clinics, 96 Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2021):

Washington Law ReviewLaw faculty who teach and train students in clinical settings regularly expose students to the potential for sexual harassment. Because clinics involve actual cases in real-world contexts, students may encounter sexual harassment from third parties such as clients, witnesses, and judges. Do faculty who tolerate this exposure run afoul of their obligations under Title IX to stop and remedy sexual harassment about which they are, or should be, aware?

This Article is the first to identify and propose a method for addressing a phenomenon that strikes at the intersection of three sets of priorities for clinical faculty: duty to serve the client, duty to educate the student, and duty to protect the student. When a law student may face sexual harassment from a third party in the course of representing a client, the values underlying those priorities are in tension and admit no obvious solution; some remedies that Title IX arguably requires are, in many cases, impossible to square with the duties of loyalty and zealousness owed to a clinical client, not to mention the educational goals of the clinic.

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

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Toussaint: Monuments Of American Sorrow

Etienne C. Toussaint (South Carolina; Google Scholar), Monuments of American Sorrow, 69 UCLA L. Rev. Disc. 128 (2021):

The COVID-19 pandemic not only exposed the socio-political and economic hardships that plague vulnerable communities across the United States, but it also challenged academicians with caregiving responsibilities. Teaching from home threatened the very notion of work-life balance. Compounding these pressures, faculty members were tasked with teaching online amidst the traumas of the continued police killings of unarmed Black people, the unanswered demands of Black Lives Matter protestors, the divisive rhetoric of a contentious presidential election, and the concentrated health effects of the coronavirus in low-income and minoritized communities nationwide. This Essay argues that such trauma weighs heavily on Black and other racially and ethnically minoritized law faculty who must balance teaching a legal doctrine that is often portrayed as neutral and colorblind, yet in many instances defines their very marginality, both inside and outside of the classroom.

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January 6, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Assessing Heinonline As A Source Of Scholarly Impact Metrics

Karen L. Wallace (Drake; Google Scholar), Rebecca Lutkenhaus (Drake; Google Scholar) & David B. Hanson (Drake), Assessing Heinonline as a Source of Scholarly Impact Metrics:

HeinAfter the February 2019 U.S. News & World Report announcement of a planned law school scholarly impact ranking based on HeinOnline data, law schools accelerated efforts to ensure that HeinOnline captured their faculty’s work product and citations to these publications as accurately and completely as possible. In summer 2021, U.S. News abandoned its plans, but the endeavors undertaken by law schools during the two and a half years the proposal was live, reveal much about the scope and accuracy of HeinOnline ScholarCheck metrics, as well as the power U.S. News exerts over law schools. This article notes some of the actions law libraries pursued during that period, specifically detailing an extensive citation analysis project conducted by the Drake Law Library. This study found that HeinOnline missed a significant rate of available citations (14.6 percent) in their ScholarCheck service, and it provides anecdotal data on some common HeinOnline citation-matching errors responsible for the missing citations. Hein was quite amenable to correcting ScholarCheck errors, but the process was somewhat slow and incomplete, likely due to a surge in submitted corrections after the U.S. News announcement.

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January 6, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Whittington: The Value Of Ideological Diversity Among University Faculty

Keith E. Whittington (Princeton), The Value of Ideological Diversity Among University Faculty, 37 Soc. Phil. & Pol'y 90 (2021):

Conservatives in the United States have grown increasingly critical of universities and their faculty, convinced that professors are ideologues from the political left. Universities, for their part, have increasingly adopted a mantra of diversity and inclusivity, but have shown little interest in diversifying the political and ideological profile of their faculties. This essay argues that the lack of political diversity among American university faculty hampers the ability of universities to fulfill their core mission of advancing and dissemination knowledge. The argument is advanced through a series of four questions: Is it true that university faculty are not ideologically diverse? Why might it be true? Does it matter? How might it be fixed?

Keith E. Whittington (Princeton), The Value of Ideological Diversity in Academia:

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January 4, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Capers: The Law School As A White Space

I. Bennett Capers (Fordham; Google Scholar), The Law School as a White Space, 106 Minn. L. Rev. 7 (2021):

Minnesota Law Review (2021)In this moment when the country is undergoing a racial reckoning, when law schools have pledged to look inward and become anti-racist and truly inclusive, it is past time to acknowledge how law schools function as “white spaces.” For starters, there are the numbers. There is a reason why just a few years ago, The Washington Post ran a headline describing law as “the least diverse profession in the nation.” But the argument goes beyond numbers. This Essay argues that law schools—even law schools at HBCUs— function as white spaces. They are white spaces in what they teach, in how they teach, and even in their architecture.

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December 29, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, December 27, 2021

Generation Z And The Future Of Legal Education

Tiffany Atkins (Elon), #Fortheculture: Generation Z and the Future of Legal Education, 26 Mich. J. Race & L. 115 (2021):

Michigan Journal of Race and LawGeneration Z, with a birth year between 1995 and 2010, is the most diverse generational cohort in U.S. history and is the largest segment of our population. Gen Zers hold progressive views on social issues and expect diversity and minority representation where they live, work, and learn. American law schools, however, are not known for their diversity, or for being inclusive environments representative of the world around us. This culture of exclusion has led to an unequal legal profession and academy, where less than 10 percent of the population is non-white. As Gen Zers bring their demands for inclusion, and for a legal education that will prepare them to tackle social justice issues head on, they will encounter an entirely different culture—one that is completely at odds with their expectations. This paper adds depth and perspective to the existing literature on Generation Z in legal education by focusing on their social needs and expectations, recognizing them as critical drivers of legal education and reform. To provide Gen Z students with a legal education that will enable them to make a difference for others—a need deeply connected to their motivators and beliefs—law school culture must shift. Reimagining, reconstituting, and reconfiguring legal education to create a culture of inclusion and activism will be essential and necessary.

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December 27, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Rozema: Does The Bar Exam Protect the Public?

Kyle Rozema (Washington University; Google Scholar), Does the Bar Exam Protect the Public?, 18 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 801 (2021):

I study the effects of requiring lawyers to pass the bar exam on whether they are later publicly disciplined for misconduct. In the 1980s, by abolishing what is known as a diploma privilege, four states began to require graduates from all law schools to pass the bar exam. My research design exploits these events to estimate the effect of the bar passage requirement on the share of lawyers publicly sanctioned by state discipline bodies. I find that during the first decade of their careers lawyers licensed without a bar passage requirement are publicly sanctioned at similar rates to lawyers licensed after passing a bar exam. Small differences do begin to emerge after a decade, however, and larger though still modest differences form after two decades.

Rozema

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December 16, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The First Empirical Study Of Novelty Claims In Law Review Articles

Paul Horwitz (Alabama), "The First":

Among the most-played tunes on my broken record is my criticism of the "novelty claim" and my fascination with what it says, not about novelty as such--I rather doubt the phrase says very much about that--but about the practice of American legal scholarship: its norms, tactics, motivations, means of advancement and accumulation of prestige, and so on. I thought I'd take a look at the frequency with which the phrase "this article is the first..." or "this is the first article..." appears in law reviews. Here are some results from a search of Westlaw's Law Reviews and Journals database by year:

2021 (to date): 142
2020: 195
2019: 163 ...
2011: 80
2010: 69
2009: 72 ...
2001: 26
2000: 27
1995: 12 ...

My view of all this, obviously, is at best jaded and at worst despairing. But let me end on a somewhat more positive note. I find the numbers given above depressing, in part because of what they say about the system and its determinants and in part because I think writing, scholarly or otherwise, should be a unique expression of personality. (And also, of course, because the sentence is often insincere and rarely true.) But, as I suggested above, perhaps the growth of the phrase and its mechanical invocation is a function of the fact that there is more competition among a much wider range of legal scholars, writing in a large number of fields and methods and coming from a large number of backgrounds. In some ways, and perhaps slightly counter-intuitively, one may be freer to be distinctive and eccentric in a smaller, more closed and elitist system, in which idiosyncrasies are more accepted because everyone already knows everyone else and everyone's work is read more closely and evaluated in a more individualized fashion because there are fewer people and less writing to sort through (and/or because the primary sortition in such a world occurs at the level of distinguishing the establishment from everyone else). Maybe the bureaucratization and standardization that a phrase like "this is the first" represents, even if those who write it don't see it as such, is just a way to deal with a larger, more specialized, more diverse universe of scholars. That's cause for good cheer. It's just unfortunate that it doesn't seem to be an especially good or honest way or one that makes for good reading.

Orin Kerr (UC-Berkeley), The Very First Empirical Study of Novelty Claims in Law Review Articles:

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December 15, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The 'Pink Ghettos' of Public Interest Law: An Open Secret

Sandra Simkins (Rutgers), The "Pink Ghettos" of Public Interest Law: An Open Secret, 68 Buff. L. Rev. 857 (2020):

There is a downside to public interest law careers and law school pro bono work for women. Law schools cue women to enter and remain at lower rungs of the profession by normalizing women in “caregiving” roles and locking predominantly female clinicians who do public interest work into a lower level status. The ABA contributes to this structural devaluation by ignoring female public interest lawyers. When combined with the culture of public interest organizations, these factors contribute to women’s stagnant progress in the legal profession.

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December 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Griggs: Race, Rules, And Disregarded Reality

Marsha Griggs (Washburn), Race, Rules, and Disregarded Reality, 82 Ohio St. L.J. __ (2021):

Exploring issues of racial bias and social injustice in the law school classroom is a modern imperative. Yet, important conversations about systemic inequality in the law and legal profession are too often dissociated from core doctrinal courses and woodenly siloed to the periphery of the curriculum. This dissociation creates a paradigm of irrelevancy by omission that disregards the realities of the lived experiences of our students and the clients they will ultimately serve. Using Evidence as a launch pad, Professor Deborah Merritt has paved a pathway to incorporate these disregarded realities in doctrinal teaching. This important pathway leads to safe spaces necessary for both faculty and students to explore the historical context of racial subordination in law. Professor Merritt’s disruptive pedagogy upends the casebook method of law school teaching. Her groundbreaking “uncasebook” has prompted deeper thinking about the meaning, purpose, and role of law. This Article serves dual aims.

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December 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, December 10, 2021

Keep Distance Education for Law Schools: Online Education, the Pandemic, and Access to Justice

Lael Daniel Weinberger (Harvard), Keep Distance Education for Law Schools: Online Education, the Pandemic, and Access to Justice, 53 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 211 (2021):

While distance education made inroads throughout higher education, law schools kept their distance—until a global pandemic forced them all online for a time. Then the gatekeepers to the profession at the American Bar Association and state bars temporarily dropped their limits on distance learning. Now as American law schools prepare to return to normalcy, should distance learning remain an option? This essay argues that it should because it has potential to improve access to justice: distance education can reduce the costs of law school, increasing the supply of lawyers who can afford to provide less expensive legal services.

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December 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Letterhead Bias and Blind Review: An Analysis of Prevalence and Mitigation Efforts

Michael Conklin (Angelo State; Google Scholar), Letterhead Bias and Blind Review: An Analysis of Prevalence and Mitigation Efforts, 2021 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online__ (2022):

Claims regarding letterhead bias in legal academia have been limited to anecdotes and hyperbolic assertions such as how “[s]omebody from a top 5 school could bluebook a ham sandwich and get it published in a top 10 journal.” This Article reports the findings of a first-of-its-kind study designed to measure the effects of letterhead bias on legal scholarship. As the first quantitative analysis into the subject, this research illuminates the prevalence of letterhead bias and the effectiveness of blind review in combating it. Furthermore, the methodology allows for analysis of how blind review affects the often-criticized practice of self-publishing.

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December 9, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Law Teaching Strategies For A New Era: Beyond The Physical Classroom

Tessa L. Dysart (Arizona) & Tracy Norton (Touro), Law Teaching Strategies for a New Era: Beyond the Physical Classroom (2021):

Law Teaching StrategiesThe abrupt move to online legal education in Spring 2020 accelerated the move to online legal education that has been slowing gathering steam in recent years. As more institutions consider the potential to expand their reach with online courses and programs, law professors must move past “pandemic teaching” and seriously consider how they can create and deliver quality legal education online.

Law Teaching Strategies for a New Era: Beyond the Physical Classroom, the first comprehensive book on online legal education, explores techniques, tools, and strategies that can assist all types of law professors in that endeavor. The thirty-four chapters, authored by law professors from across the country, provide a comprehensive look at expanding legal education beyond the traditional classroom experience. Divided into four sections, the book starts by offering tips for getting started and fostering inclusion in online courses.  It then moves to suggestions for course design of blended, synchronous, and asynchronous courses, including a chapter on measuring success through empirical research.

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December 9, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Chauvin: The Banality of Law Journal Rejections

Noah Chauvin (Google Scholar), The Banality of Law Journal Rejections, 106 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes 18 (2021):

Minnesota Law Review (2021)In the spring of 2021, I received two rejection messages from law journals I had submitted an article to. The messages came within seven minutes of one another. Nothing about this was remarkable, except that the two messages (with the exception of the names of the relevant journals) were identical. That experience led me to write this brief reflection on the bureaucratization of law journal rejections. I argue that the inauthenticity and formulaic nature of rejection notices has negative consequences for editor and author alike.

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December 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Call For Papers: Teaching Law Without Borders — Comparative Perspectives On Legal Pedagogy

Journal Of Legal Education Call For Papers: Teaching Law Without Borders — Comparative Perspectives on Legal Pedagogy

Journal of Legal Education (2020)The Editors of the Journal of Legal Education welcome articles and reflections on the methods of law teaching in different legal cultures.

Law is taught as an undergraduate/first degree course in much of the world, and as a graduate/postgraduate course in some places, as in the United States. Legal education is considered by some to be a professional degree, designed to teach students skills and analytical tools that can be applied across a range of practice areas. Elsewhere, it is more akin to a field of the humanities, where the intellectual discovery of arguments, theories and schools of thought is the object of learning, rather than the practice of law. Different approaches to legal education commend different teaching methods. Some are the product of tradition; some are designed to develop specific professional skills in an evolving profession. Even the subject matters of legal education vary across cultures. In many ways, the law–and legal education–are very much situated in a local political, social and economic context. Yet, in a globalized world where legal professionals in training increasingly see k a multinational and multicultural education, there are likewise opportunities for law teachers to share methods and pedagogical approaches.

This issue calls upon legal educators worldwide to share experiences, experiments and theoretical perspectives on the value of different approaches to legal instruction. These might include different forms of experiential education, models for integrating legal practice and theoretical learning, novel ways to engage students with legal doctrine, building interdisciplinarity in the legal curriculum, formats for skills-oriented courses, and more. Also of interest are full-scale imports of programs, such as the creation of PhDs in law in the United States or the creation of a U.S.-style Juris Doctor program in China.

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December 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Legal Education's Curricular Tipping Point Toward Inclusive Socratic Teaching

Jamie R. Abrams (Louisville), Legal Education's Curricular Tipping Point Toward Inclusive Socratic Teaching, 49 Hofstra L. Rev. 897 (2021):

Two seismic curricular disruptions create a tipping point for legal education to reform and transform. COVID-19 abruptly disrupted the delivery of legal education. It aligned with a tectonic racial justice reckoning, as more professors and institutions reconsidered their content and classroom cultures, allying with faculty of color who had long confronted these issues actively. The frenzy of these dual disruptions starkly contrasts with the steady drumbeat of critical legal scholars advocating for decades to reduce hierarchies and inequalities in legal education pedagogy.

This context presents a tipping point supporting two pedagogical reforms that leverage this unique moment. First, it is time to abandon the presumptive reverence and implicit immunity given to problematic Socratic teaching despite the harms and inadequacies of such performances. Professor Kingsfield depicted an archetype of Socratic teaching where the professor wields power over students instead of wielding knowledge to empower students. He used strategic tools of humiliation, degradation, mockery, fear, and shame. Socratic performances that are professor-centered and power-centered do not merit the reverence and immunity they still receive after decades of sound critiques. This critique is framed as a call to “cancel Kingsfield.” Socratic teaching can (must) be performed inclusively. This Article proposes a set of shared Socratic values that are student-centered, skills-centered, client-centered, and community-centered.

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December 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, December 3, 2021

Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across The Law School Curriculum

Diana R. Donahoe (Georgetown) & Julie Ross (Georgetown), Lighting the Fires of Learning in Law School: Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across the Curriculum, 81 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 657 (2020):

The American Bar Association now requires law schools to incorporate formative assessment into the law school curriculum by providing feedback to students relating to course-specific learning goals before the end-of-semester exam. Peer reviews and self-evaluations are two powerful formative assessment techniques that faculty can use to meet the new ABA standards to assess the students’ learning outcomes while courses are ongoing, creating more effective learning environments within the classroom.

This article argues that peer reviews and self-evaluations can be successfully used across the law school curriculum to deepen student understanding, encourage student cooperation, and develop students’ abilities to be self-regulated learners in law school.

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December 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Menstrual Dignity And The Bar Exam

Marcy L. Karin (District of Columbia), Margaret E. Johnson (Baltimore) & Elizabeth B. Cooper (Fordham), Menstrual Dignity and the Bar Exam, 55 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1 (2021):

This Article examines the issue of menstruation and the administration of the bar exam. Although such problems are not new, over the summer and fall of 2020, test takers and commentators took to social media to critique state board of law examiners’ (“BOLE”) policies regarding menstruation. These problems persist. Menstruators worry that if they unexpectedly bleed during the exam, they may not have access to appropriately sized and constructed menstrual products or may be prohibited from accessing the bathroom. Personal products that are permitted often must be carried in a clear, plastic bag. Some express privacy concerns that the see-through bag outs test takers’ menstruation as well as their birth-assigned sex — an especially difficult problem for transgender, genderqueer/nonbinary, and intersex individuals who do not wish to share that information.

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December 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

If You Build It, They Will Come: What Students Say About Experiential Learning

David I. C. Thomson (Denver; Google Scholar) & Stephen Daniels (American Bar Foundation; Google Scholar), If You Build It, They Will Come: What Students Say About Experiential Learning, 13 Fla. A & M U. L. Rev. 203 (2018): 

Our purpose here is to explore one of the “natural experiments” cited by the Task Force: the Experiential Advantage (EA) program at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law (Denver Law). EA was developed as a part of a greater general focus on experiential learning and is built upon the three “Carnegie Apprenticeships” – “the intellectual or cognitive,” “the forms of expert practice,” and “identity and purpose.” It was implemented at Denver Law starting with students entering in August 2013. To explore this natural experiment, we took a particular route and did so for what we see as good reason. It is often the case with such curricular experiments that the views of students are missing. But of course, it makes little sense to neglect them because such changes are supposedly made for the students’ benefit. So, it seems more than appropriate to ask them – from their perspective – if a change worked, or improved matters, as it was designed to do. This article is a first report on the findings of an extensive case study — a three-year, survey-based, study of Denver Law students concerning the EA Program “natural experiment.” The findings should be of considerable interest to the legal community, given that there is general support for experiential learning across most law schools, but a study of this kind — one exploring student views on curricular innovation — has never been conducted before.

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Clinicians Reflect On COVID-19: Lessons Learned And Looking Beyond

Deborah N. Archer (NYU), Caitlin Barry (Villanova), Lisa Bliss (Georgia State), G.S. Hans (Vanderbilt), Vida Johnson (Georgetown), Wilkes Kaas (Quinnipiac), Lynnise Pantin (Columbia), Kele Stewart (Miami), Priya Baskaran (American), Jennifer Fernandez (Penn), Crystal Grant (Duke), Anjum Gupta (Rutgers), Julia Hernandez (CUNY), Alexis Karteron (Rutgers) & Shobha Mahadev (Northwestern), Clinicians Reflect on COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Looking Beyond, 28 Clinical L. Rev. 15 (2021):

As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, clinical faculty had to abruptly adapt their clinical teaching and case supervision practices to adjust to the myriad restrictions brought on by the pandemic. This brought specialized challenges for clinicians who uniquely serve as both legal practitioners and law teachers in the law school setting. With little support and guidance, clinicians tackled never before seen difficulties in the uncharted waters of running a clinical law practice during a pandemic.

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December 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Table Of U.S. Law School Mission Statements (2019 & 2021); 58 Schools Lack Explicit Mission Statements

Frances Tung (American Bar Foundation) & Elizabeth Mertz (Wisconsin; Google Scholar), Table of U.S. Law School Mission Statements, 2019 & 2021:

This Table continues a data-sharing effort begun by Irene Scharf and Vanessa Merton in 2016, as part of their research on U.S. law schools’ mission statements. They had been inspired, in part, by Jerome Organ’s earlier work on this topic in 2010. Scharf and Merton made their 2016 data publicly available on the University of Massachusetts website; we are following in their footsteps by sharing the results of our own efforts, undertaken in 2019 and 2021, on SSRN and on the American Bar Foundation webpage. In the spirit of open access and collegial cooperation within our scholarly community, we invite readers to send corrections to us c/o ftung@abfn.org. This is part of a larger project on law school education funded by the American Bar Foundation and directed by Elizabeth Mertz. 

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November 24, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Only 57% Of White Students At Harvard Are Admitted On Merit

The Guardian, Turns Out, Harvard Students Aren’t That Smart After All:

A whopping 43% of white students weren’t admitted on merit. One might call it affirmative action for the rich and privileged.

Ever wondered what it takes to get into Harvard? Stellar grades, impressive extracurriculars and based on a recently published study, having deep pockets and a parent who either works or went there. Those last two are pretty important for Harvard’s white students because only about 57% of them were admitted to the school based on merit.

In reality, 43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (meaning their parents have donated to the school) or children of faculty and staff (students admitted based on these criteria are referred to as ‘ALDCs’, which stands for ‘athletes’, ‘legacies’, ‘dean’s interest list’ and ‘children’ of Harvard employees). The kicker? Roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich or Harvard-connected parents or being an athlete. ...

This kind of systemic favoritism of the white, wealthy and connected is not new when it comes to elite academic institutions. It’s always been a bit of a rigged game, one that overwhelmingly favors rich white people.

Peter Arcidiacono (Duke; Google Scholar), Josh Kinsler (Georgia; Google Scholar) & Tyler Ransom (Oklahoma; Google Scholar), Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard, 40 J. Labor Econ. ___ (2022):

The lawsuit Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University provided an unprecedented look at how an elite school makes admissions decisions. Using publicly released reports, we examine the preferences Harvard gives for recruited athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s interest list, and children of faculty and staff (ALDCs). Among white admits, over 43% are ALDC.

Among admits who are African American, Asian American, and Hispanic, the share is less than 16% each. Our model of admissions shows that roughly three quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs. Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would significantly alter the racial distribution of admitted students, with the share of white admits falling and all other groups rising or remaining unchanged.

Harvard 1

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

Jenoff: Big Law Dreams

Pam Jenoff (Rutgers), Big Law Dreams, 13 Fla. A & M U. L. Rev. 183 (2018):

Upon graduation, law students continue to seek positions with large law firms in record numbers. Graduates are drawn to Big Law for the purported pluses of high compensation; interesting work; extensive training and resources; mobility and prestige. However, a closer examination of the present-day realities reveals that these beliefs may be outdated, overstated, or simply incorrect. Students who make their career choices based on such premises may find themselves trapped in ill-fitting and unsatisfying positions. Moreover, an unyielding focus on Big Law based on faulty assumptions may have costs and consequences for legal education and the provision of legal services. This essay focuses on the factors contributing to the law student’s unrelenting drive toward Big Law. It examines the underlying assumptions built into that drive and whether they are valid. It explores the cost to graduates, the profession and society if students follow these assumptions and pursue a career in Big Law without careful thought and reflection. 

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November 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, November 18, 2021

A Letter To Students On The Meaning Of Work And Professional Formation

Benjamin C. Carpenter (St. Thomas), A Letter to Students on the Meaning of Work and Professional Formation, 17 U. St. Thomas L.J. ___ (2021):

The law is a wonderful profession—one that provides opportunities for individuals to make a formative difference in people’s lives, to work with talented colleagues and against skilled opponents, to earn the respect of others, and to make a generous income while doing so. However, it is also the profession with the highest rates of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression among its members—particularly for attorneys within their first ten years of practice. While the rewards of practicing law can be great, so too can be the demands and, at times, the costs. Finding one’s place within the profession while navigating the challenges is a difficult process for all lawyers. In particular, how will one respond when their professional choices or actions challenge their deeply held (but perhaps previously untested) views of themself? Ultimately, how does one reconcile who they are as a lawyer with who they are as a person? We all search for meaning in our work. We all struggle with the tension between maximizing comfort and maximizing impact. We all struggle to reconcile our various roles—as an advocate, colleague, mentor, parent, spouse, child, and friend.

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November 18, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Reducing Debt And Increasing Access To The Profession: An Empirical Study Of Graduate Debt At U.S. Law Schools

Scott F. Norberg (Florida Int'l; Google Scholar) & Stephanie J. Garcia (Florida Int'l), Reducing Debt and Increasing Access to the Profession: An Empirical Study of Graduate Debt at U.S. Law Schools: 69 J. Legal Educ. 710 (2021):

Legal education in the United States is in crisis because it is so costly and the number of law school graduates has consistently exceeded the number of entry-level law jobs by a wide margin, while starting salaries are low in comparison to student loan debt for most graduates. This article contributes to the work of addressing the current challenges by reporting the results of an empirical study of the nature and scope of law graduate debt across U.S. law schools.

FIU1

We focus on findings in two areas. First, the data indicate that the legal education system places a greater financial burden on minority and women students than on non-Hispanic white male students. The cost of attendance, average amount borrowed, percentage of the class that borrowed, and percentage of students paying full tuition are all higher at schools with lower LSAT/UGPA medians and larger percentages of minority and women graduates. Moreover, these schools also report weaker employment outcomes for their graduates.

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Makings Of A Culturally Savvy Lawyer: Novel Approaches For Teaching And Assessing Cross-Cultural Skills In Law School

Shahrokh Falati (New York Law School; Google Scholar), The Makings of a Culturally Savvy Lawyer: Novel Approaches For Teaching and Assessing Cross-Cultural Skills in Law School, 49 J.L. & Educ. 627 (2020):

All 205 American Bar Association-accredited Law schools in the U.S. must now define learning outcomes for their credit-bearing Juris Doctorate (JD) courses, and publish them. There is a developing trend for law schools to formulate and include learning outcomes that go beyond the minimal requirements. One emerging learning outcome that is presently adopted by about a quarter of all U.S. law schools relates to teaching and assessing cultural competency as a JD learning outcome. In this Article, I focus on this JD student learning outcome and develop three key points. First, I highlight and discuss why cultural awareness and inter-cultural skills is an increasingly critical skill set for all law students. Second, I review the various stages of cultural competency, highlight the barriers to acquiring a more nuanced cross-cultural skill set, and discuss habits that can foster law students’ cross-cultural skills development. 

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Extending Leiter-Sisk Citation Counts To Interdisciplinary Scholarship

J. B. Ruhl, Michael P. Vandenbergh & Sarah Dunaway (Vanderbilt), Total Scholarly Impact: Law Professor Citations in Non-Law Journals, 69 J. Legal Educ. 772 (2020):

This Article provides the first ranking of legal scholars and law faculties based on citations in non-law journals. Applying the methods, as much as possible, of the widely used Leiter-Sisk “Scholarly Impact Score,” which includes only citations in law publications, we calculate a “Interdisciplinary Scholarly Impact Score” from the non-law citations over a five-year period (2012-2018) to the work of tenured law faculty published in that period in non-law journals. We also provide the weighted scores for law faculty at the top 25 law schools as ranked by the US News rankings, a school-by-school ranking, and lists of the top five faculty by non-law citations at each school and of the top fifty scholars overall.

IDR Final

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November 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Alexander: The Assault On American Democracy And The Path Forward

Mark C. Alexander (Villanova), Introduction: Beyond Imagination? in Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection (West 2022), a book co-written by 14 law school deans:

Throughout our nation’s complex history, the rule of law and our carefully balanced constitutional system has allowed the nation to confront and successfully navigate many unique existential threats. One of the most significant threats in modern times, growing for many years from the propagation of politically polarizing and destructive disinformation, was realized on January 6, 2021.

In the United States, we have long prided ourselves on the peaceful transfer of power after elections. Every four years we hold a presidential election, resulting in a winner. Dissenting voices may object, but the winner is accepted, and the loser moves on. Truth matters, and perhaps more here, in the context of free and fair elections, than in any other. This is the American way. Anything less should be beyond our imagination.

The ongoing legitimacy of our nation’s republic requires us all to engage. As we law school deans train the next generation of lawyer-leaders, we must take stock and double down on the rule of law. This work will not be easy. Fourteen of us have collaborated on this work, writing from our perspectives as legal scholars, as deans of our institutions, and as individuals who have been engaged in leadership in various ways.

This book is not a partisan undertaking. Our cause is the rule of law; our loyalty is to the Constitution of the United States. We support the American people, not one candidate, elected official, or individual. We have attempted to strike a balance and draw some lines. We want to challenge you, the reader, and we sincerely hope that our work contributes to exposing the problems that allowed us to suffer collectively on January 6, and then to promote healing. We speak for ourselves, not for our institutions. We hope we are speaking up for many people and speaking to our entire society about what once was and should always have been beyond imagination, but which no longer is.

Mark C. Alexander (Villanova), The Assault on American Democracy and the Path Forward in Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection (West 2022), a book co-written by 14 law school deans:

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Sociolegal Research, The Law School Survey Of Student Engagement, And Studying Diversity In Judicial Clerkships

Shih-Chun Steven Chien (American Bar Foundation; Google Scholar), Ajay K. Mehrotra (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Xiangnong Wang (J.D. 2020, Yale), Sociolegal Research, the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, and Studying Diversity in Judicial Clerkships, 69 J. Legal Educ. 530 (2020):

This article highlights how long-term empirical and interdisciplinary research projects can benefit from use of Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) data. After identifying and explaining how and why LSSSE data is invaluable for scholars studying legal education and the legal profession, the paper describes how empirical and interdisciplinary, sociolegal research at the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and elsewhere has used LSSSE data. Finally, this paper leverages LSSSE evidence to explore law student career preferences and expectations about judicial clerkships.

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November 16, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, November 15, 2021

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue

The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 69, No. 3 (Spring 2020):

Journal of Legal Education (2020)Get In Good Trouble: A Collection of Essays by Millennial Law Scholars

Other Articles

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November 15, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, November 12, 2021

Only 2 Of The 50 Most-Cited Legal Scholars Are Women

Fred R. Shapiro (Yale), The Most-Cited Legal Scholars Revisited, 88 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1595 (2021):

Shapiro 3This Essay presents a list of the fifty most-cited legal scholars of all time, intending to spotlight individuals who have had a very notable impact on legal thought and institutions. Because citation counting favors scholars who have had long careers, I supplement the main listing with a ranking of the most-cited younger legal scholars. In addition, I include five specialized lists: most-cited international law scholars, most-cited corporate law scholars, most-cited scholars of critical race theory and feminist jurisprudence, most-cited public law scholars, and most-cited scholars of law and social science. (For those readers who cannot wait to see the actual lists, Tables 1–7 are on pages 8–11.)

The utility of citation totals as indicators of scholarly quality or even of scholarly influence is controversial, but they have been shown to correlate positively with informed subjective assessments. The danger in relying on such counts is that, because they are so convenient, they will be disproportionately relied upon relative to their actual probative value. There are a number of significant biases in citation statistics, and there are a variety of pitfalls that should be avoided in attempting to compile meaningful citation data. I will describe these biases and pitfalls when I explain the derivation and methodology of my study. It is my hope that I have produced tabulations that, although they clearly have imperfections, can serve as examples of careful analysis. Such examples are sorely needed after flawed proposed “scholarly impact rankings” by the U.S. News and World Report threatened to have a harmful effect on legal education.

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November 12, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

OK Boomer — The Approaching DiZruption Of Legal Education By Generation Z

Robert Minarcin (Arkansas-Little Rock), OK Boomer — The Approaching DiZruption Of Legal Education By Generation Z, 39 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 29 (2020):

Educating today’s law students is a difficult and challenging task. Add to this, the arrival of a new generation of students, the first true digital natives, born into the Internet-connected world, taking in information instantaneously and losing interest just as fast—learners accustomed to watching online lessons to learn but still valuing the professor. A generation of students always on social media and consuming mass amounts of content. Enter Generation Z.

Since the late seventies, law schools have struggled with educating the Millennial generation. Each generation, particularly Generation Z, comes to law school with varying characteristics and new challenges that distinguish them from their predecessors, challenges requiring changes to our teaching and institutions. In order to recruit, educate, and graduate this new generation of law students, educators must understand the predominant characteristics, perspectives, and learning preferences of Generation Z. With these objectives in mind, this Article examines the characteristics and learning preferences of this new cohort of students. It offers suggestions on ways traditional legal education needs to change and improve to better meet the needs of this new breed of students. This Article begins by briefly describing the generational profiles of those that preceded Generation Z, particularly their bloodline of siblings, parents, and grandparents. The Article then delves into the characteristics and personality traits of this new generation of law students. 

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November 12, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Legal Ethics Of Lying About American Democracy

Andrew M. Perlman (Suffolk; Google Scholar), The Legal Ethics of Lying About American Democracy from Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection (forthcoming West Academic Publishing 2022), a book co-written by 14 law school deans.

Numerous lawyers contributed to the disinformation campaign that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Some of the lawyers filed lawsuits that questioned the legitimacy of the presidential election, and others spread falsehoods while acting as legislators or in similar high profile roles. This chapter explores the potential disciplinary consequences of their behavior and the larger implications of their conduct for American democracy.

One theme of this chapter is that, when lawyers make claims about elections, the consequences of misinformation are severe and threaten to undermine trust in our democratic institutions. Given the stakes, the legal profession should apply well-established procedures and rules to discipline lawyers who cross ethical lines in the context of election-related litigation. In contrast, discipline is far more complex, both legally and politically, for lawyers who serve in public roles and do not represent clients, such as lawyer-legislators who lied about the election. Rather than seeking to discipline these lawyers with traditional sanctions, the profession should speak with one voice and across the political spectrum to condemn them for lying about core features of our democracy.

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November 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Experiential Learning During COVID A Perspective And A Proposal

Katherene Conner (Elon), Experiential Learning During COVID A Perspective and A Proposal:

Higher education has become more available to more students; however, post graduate education and post graduate educators had to quickly pivot to online learning when the world closed due to COVID. Experiential learning faced different challenges.

This article traces the development of experiential learning in the law school curriculum and how the legal academy has responded to integrating the concept of experiential learning into the overall curriculum. 

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November 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

In Favour Of Universal Design: The Argument For Continued Hybrid Online/In-Person Courses

Katherine Benson (UBC), In Favour of Universal Design: The Argument for Continued Hybrid Online/In-Person Courses in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic with a Focus on Students with Disabilities:

The global outbreak of the novel 2019-nCoV coronavirus - colloquially referred to as COVID-19 - has had far-reaching implications for post-secondary institutions. There is a tension between post-secondary institutions' desire to provide in-person education and the legal implications of facilitating a situation which carries inherent risks of spreading a novel disease. The first section of this paper makes the argument that hybrid learning - where both online and in-person instruction is made available - is an example of “universal design.” Universal design includes the greatest number of people in post-secondary education and should be embraced by post-secondary institutions as a way to attain their goals of reducing the barriers students have in accessing high-quality education. The second section of this paper makes the argument that delivering classes, which could successfully be offered in an online format, in an in-person-only format while COVID-19 remains active in the community violates both the BC Humans Rights Code and universities’ contractual obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled students. 

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November 9, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink