Paul L. Caron
Dean


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tax Prof Twitter Census (2019-20 Edition) (Updated)

TwitterAccording to Bridget Crawford's latest census, there are 1,310 Law Profs on Twitter (54.1% male/45.9% female), including 77 Tax Profs (several with tax in their Twitter handles):

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September 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amidst 40% Decline In Applications, University Of Maine System Approves Law School Reorganization

Following up on my previous post, Report Recommends Sweeping Changes At Maine Law School:  Portland Press-Herald, UMaine System to Consider Changes to Maine’s Only Law School:

Maine LogoThe University of Maine System may give its law school more independence from the University of Southern Maine in hopes of addressing financial challenges, growing enrollment and improving academic programming.

The proposed changes come at a key time as the law school is embarking on a search for a new dean and trying to determine how to best meet the needs of the state as Maine’s only law school. ...

In a report released in July, the committee documented budget shortfalls, faculty positions that have gone unfilled or without pay raises, a lack of fundraising and marketing schemes, and an enrollment strategy that relies too heavily on scholarships. It also stressed a need to diversify course offerings and do outreach in rural, underserved areas of the state. ...

From 2011 to 2018, the number of applications in Maine dropped from 988 to 574 – a 40 percent decrease. ... To stay competitive, the law school has increased the amount of money it spends on grants and scholarships, but failed to bring in necessary tuition funds. ...

At the same time, state funding that flows to the law school through USM has remained stagnant at around $850,000 for several years. Cummings has pledged to increase those funds by 50 percent through 2021 to bring the new allocation to nearly $1.3 million.

Portland Press-Herald, UMaine System Trustees Approve Law School Reorganization:

Trustees of the University of Maine system on Monday approved a reorganization of the University of Maine School of Law in an effort to grow enrollment, provide more relevant academic programming and improve its financial standing. ... The law school changes, which will take place immediately, gained unanimous approval from the board.

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September 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former Employee Defrauded University Of Texas Law School Out Of $1.6 Million

Texas Tribune, Former Law School Employee Defrauded UT-Austin Out of Nearly $1.6 million, Internal Report Finds:

Texas Logo (2016)A former University of Texas at Austin facilities director facing felony charges ran an elaborate financial scheme from his perch at one of the state’s top law schools, costing the university nearly $1.6 million, an internal memorandum released Friday found.

A sternly worded letter from a university provost blamed the aw school dean for “serious failures” in oversight, and the law school must pay for a continuous audit of its internal business operations for the next year. The audit will cost about $110,000.

“As a public university, we must always be good stewards of our budget and earn the public trust,” said UT-Austin spokesman Gary Susswein in a statement to The Texas Tribune. “We will work to prevent this type of behavior from occurring again.”

Jason Shoumaker is said to have engaged in a variety of financial and professional improprieties at UT-Austin, including funneling payments to vendors who may have been friends and associates, falsifying travel documents and educational credentials, and manipulating procurement processes to make a host of questionable purchases with little oversight. ...

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September 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2019

July 2019 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 5th Year In A Row

Florida Bar 2The July 2019 Florida bar passage rates by school are out. The overall pass rate for first-time takers is 73.9%, up 6.7 percentage points from last year. For the fifth year in a row, Florida International is #1. Here are the results for the 11 Florida law schools, along with each school's U.S. News ranking (Florida and overall):

Bar Pass

Rank (Rate)

 

School

US News Rank

FL (Overall)

1 (95.7%)

Florida Int'l

4 (91)

2 (87.9%)

Florida

1 (31)

3 (86.8%)

Florida State

2 (48)

4 (80.8%)

Miami 

3 (67)

5 (77.6%)

Stetson

5 (108)

6 (71.4%)

St. Thomas

Tier 2

7 (71.0%)

Florida Coastal

Tier 2

8 (65.9%)

Nova

Tier 2

9 (61.1%)

Florida A&M

Tier 2

10 (57.8%)

Barry

Tier 2

11 (52.6%)

Ave Maria

Tier 2

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September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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:

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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September 16, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Deuteronomy Leadership

Wall Street Journal op-ed: T-Mobile’s CEO and the Tribal Approach to Management, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassOfficially speaking, John Legere is the chief executive of T-Mobile, the $68 billion wireless carrier. Unofficially, the 61-year-old telecom veteran has another title.

He is, hands down, the world’s most relentless corporate pugilist.

Since he arrived at T-Mobile in 2012, Mr. Legere has used every public forum at his disposal to bash and belittle his company’s chief rivals, AT&T and Verizon; or as he likes to call them, “Dumb and Dumber.” ...

It might be tempting to dismiss Mr. Legere’s aggressive leadership style and occasionally profane language (he describes his attacks as “jabs” and “good-natured ribbing”) as the product of one man’s singular personality.After all, most CEOs don’t sport shoulder-length hair, or wear motorcycle jackets to work, or have 6.4 million Twitter followers. ...

Before rendering judgment, however, there’s one interesting tidbit about Mr. Legere that’s worth considering. His opponents may loathe him—but a large majority of his employees seem to genuinely like the guy. At T-Mobile events, the marathon-running bachelor often enjoys receptions befitting a rock star, complete with the occasional marriage proposal. While Glassdoor’s annual employee surveys aren’t scientific, the 2019 edition gave Mr. Legere a 99% internal approval rating—No. 4 overall among his CEO peers.

Mr. Legere’s intensely tribal approach to management may seem new—but in a sense, it harkens all the way back to the Old Testament.

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September 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Great Enrollment Crash

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Great Enrollment Crash:

Students aren’t showing up. And it’s only going to get worse. ...

Higher education has fully entered a new structural reality. You’d be naïve to believe that most colleges will be able to ride out this unexpected wave as we have previous swells.

Those who saw modest high-school graduation dips by 2020 as surmountable must now absorb the statistical reality: Things are only going to get worse. As Nathan Grawe has shown, a sharp decrease in fertility during the Great Recession will further deepen the high-school graduation trough by 2026. Meanwhile, the cost of attendance for both private and public colleges insists on outpacing inflation, American incomes continue to stagnate, and college-endowment returns or state subsidies can no longer support the discounting of sticker prices. ...

This perfect storm has changed, and will continue to change, student and family college-choice behavior for the next decade and more. I see this playing out across three dimensions: majors, money, and mission.

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September 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Leadership Changes, Student Loans, And Nonprofit Status At Florida Coastal Law School

A Virtual Tour Of Pepperdine Law School

Friday, September 13, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

July 2019 Bar Exam Pass Rates Are Poised To Rise, As MBE Scores Increase At Highest Rate In 11 Years

National Conference of Bar Examiners, July 2019 MBE Mean Score Rebounds:

The national Multistate Bar Examination mean scaled score for July 2019 was 141.1, an increase of about 1.6 points from the July 2018 mean of 139.5. This increase is a rebound from the drop in the MBE mean score observed between July 2017 and July 2018 and marks the largest increase compared to the previous July’s mean since July 2008. 45,334 examinees sat for the MBE in July 2019, a nominal increase of one tenth of one percent (0.1%) compared to the 45,274 examinees who tested in July 2018.

July Bar Exam

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September 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Mitchell Hamline Offers New Blended Hybrid-Weekend J.D.

Mitchell Hamline Announces New Blended-Learning J.D. Option:

Mitchell Hamline (2018)Mitchell Hamline School of Law announced Sept. 5 it will take the next step as the nation’s leader in online and on-campus legal education with the launch next fall of a new blended-learning enrollment option.

The new offering integrates elements of Mitchell Hamline’s pioneering Hybrid J.D. program and its Executive and Weekend J.D. options into a single partly online, partly on-campus option.

Through blended learning, students will have an unmatched opportunity to customize their legal educations in terms of format, content, and pace, and all graduates will be eligible to sit for the bar exam in all 50 states.

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September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 11th At Pepperdine

Yesterday was a very special day at Pepperdine. In the morning, we held a solemn ceremony at our Waves of Flags for the 12th consecutive year featuring a display of 2,887 American flags for each American life lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and 90 international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad who also were killed:

September 11

In the afternoon, I hosted a conversation with Justice Gorsuch about his new book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, with two of his former law clerks, David Feder and Tobi Young, following an honor guard of four of our student veterans (Capt Lindsey Kirchoff, US Air Force; CPT Austin McNaul, US Army; CPT Daniel Schmidt, US Army; and Col (Ret.) Mark Seilhamer, USMC)), a singing of the National Anthem by 3L Marcy Kuo, and an invocation by Eric Wilson, Associate University Chaplain.

Gorsuch Event (091119)

In the evening, my wife and I hosted the weekly Dean's Bible Study:

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September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

46 Law Schools Accept The GRE For Admissions, And 5 Accept The GMAT

GRE GMATForty-six law schools now accept the GRE for law school admissions.  Forty-four law schools accept the GRE outright (American, Arizona, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, California-Western, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Penn State, Pepperdine, Seattle, SMU, South Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington University, and Yale).  Two law schools (Georgia and UC-Berkeley) allow students enrolled in another graduate program to submit the GRE.  (George Washington has rescinded its use of the GRE because it has not done a school-specific validation study.)   Two non-U.S. law schools — Peking University School of Transnational Law (China) and Hamd Bin Khalifa University Law School (Qatar, in partnership with Northwestern) — also accept the GRE.

Five law schools accept the GMAT for law school admissions — two outright (Cornell and Penn) and three (Chicago, Georgia and UC-Berkeley) for students enrolled in another graduate program.

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September 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Bill Henderson: Legal Evolution

Three great posts from Bill Henderson (Indiana) on Legal Evolution:

Credible Commitments to Legal Diversity:

Since the early 2000s, law departments and law firms have advanced ambitious public initiatives to diversify the legal profession. In law firm power centers, however, the disconnect between public proclamations and empirical reality is staggering. ...

It’s true that law firms are focused on building diverse pipelines and seeking diverse law school graduates, and on that front they do relatively well. I wonder how many know African-American law school graduates borrow about $112,000 more to pay for law school (median is about $207k) than White law school graduates (median is about $95k). See AccessLex Institute, “Examining Graduate Lending” at 26 (June 2019).

We can examine how demographic groups are distributed across law schools broadly by looking at four groups: law schools ranked 1 to 14 by U.S. News = “T-14”, those ranked 15 to 50 = “Tier 1,” 51 to 100 = “Tier 2,” and 101 and lower/not ranked = “Tier 3/4”. Figure 2 reports the percentage shares for each group graduating from each tier category. The distributions reveal a stark demographic asymmetry.

HendersonDropping the Rock: Three Examples:

Everyday, when I am paying attention, the world is nudging me to let go of something wrong and unhelpful. A friend of mine calls it “dropping the rock.” The rock is an assumption about how the world operates that can’t be reconciled with an honest evaluation of facts and experience.

Dropping the rock is primarily a personal philosophy. But as my friend points out, “It also has professional benefits.”

One of those benefits is the ability to see and savor developments that are fundamentally good and hopeful in all aspects of life. Indeed, that is the purpose of this post: to sketch out three brief examples of the legal profession entering a period of learning and regeneration.

Does a Blog Have a Publication Schedule?:

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September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chicago's First Public Law School Makes Its Debut

Law.com, Chicago's First Public Law School Makes Its Debut:

UIC MarshallChicago finally has a public law school.

The John Marshall Law School officially welcomed students back to campus on Aug. 26 as the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School, completing its transition from private, stand-alone institution to part of a large public university.

Administrators went public in November 2017 with their plans for the university to acquire the law school, saying that joining forces would strengthen both entities and make legal education in the Windy City more affordable. (No money exchanged hands, and all of John Marshall’s assets transferred to the university.) John Marshall had been an independent law school for its 120-year existence.

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September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Finds UDC And WNE Law Schools Out Of Compliance With Accreditation Standards

The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has informed two law schools — University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Western New England University School of Law — that they are out of compliance with accreditation standards:

University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law:
UDCAt its August 22-24, 2019, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standard 501(b) ["A law school shall only admit applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar."] and Interpretation 501-1 ["Among the factors to consider in assessing compliance with this Standard are the academic and admission test credentials of the law school’s entering students, the academic attrition rate of the law school's students, the bar passage rate of its graduates, and the effectiveness of the law school's academic support program. Compliance with Standard 316 is not alone sufficient to comply with the Standard."].

Western New England University School of Law:
Western New EnglandAt its August 22-24, 2019, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of the Western New England University School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standard 202(a) ["The current and anticipated financial resources available to the law school shall be sufficient for it to operate in compliance with the Standards and to carry out its program of legal education."] and (d) ["A law school is not in compliance with the Standards if its anticipated financial condition is reasonably expected to have a negative and material effect on the school’s ability to operate in compliance with the Standards or to carry out its program of legal education."].

For responses of UDC Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins and Western New England Dean Sudha Setty, see:

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September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Junior Scholars Advance ‘One Funeral At A Time’

Inside Higher Ed, Scientific Advancement, ‘1 Funeral at a Time’:

The life sciences benefit from death — the death of star researchers. So concludes a recently published paper in American Economic Review [Pierre Azoulay (MIT), Christian Fons-Rosen (UC-Merced) & Joshua S. Graff Zivin (UC-San Diego), Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?, 109 Am. Econ. Rev. 2889 (2019)].

But co-author Pierre Azoulay, professor of management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, warns, tongue in cheek, that it’s not an implicit invitation to plot against life sciences luminaries. Instead, Azoulay said in a recent interview, it’s a reason for journal editors and funding agencies to think even harder about who they’re supporting, and why. ...

[I]n the “circle of academic life,” Azoulay said, superstars may “overstay their welcome at the top of their fields.” So “we should probably think a little bit more systematically about this, and open up our practices in the realms of funding and publishing in ways that create more entry points — and make it faster for new ideas to challenge old ones.” ...

Azoulay and his co-authors examined the relationship between the relatively early or sudden deaths of 452 eminent scientists between 1975 and 2003 and the subsequent “vitality” of the field, measured in publication rates and flow of federal funding. ...

Following the deaths of star scientists, subfields saw an 8.6 percent increase in articles published by those scientists who had not previously collaborated with the late luminaries. Those papers were disproportionately likely to be highly cited. All effects are compared to control subfields, which are associated with superstars who did not die. The effects were more pronounced for those who were previously "outsiders" to the subfields.

Funeral

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September 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Relationship Between Law School Coursework And Bar Exam Outcomes

Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University) & David R. Moss (Wayne State), A Study of the Relationship between Law School Coursework and Bar Exam Outcomes, 68 J.Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

The recent decline in bar exam passage rates has triggered speculation that the decline is being driven by law students taking more experiential courses and fewer bar-subject courses. These concerns arose in the absence of any empirical study linking certain coursework to bar exam failure.

This article addresses speculation about the relationship between law school coursework and bar exam outcomes. It reports the results of a large-scale study of the courses of over 3800 graduates from two law schools and the relationship between their experiential and bar-subject coursework and bar exam outcomes over a ten-year period.

KM 1

At both schools, the number of experiential courses or credits taken by a student did not correlate with bar passage, positively or negatively.

KM 3

Enrollment in bar courses correlated positively with passage, but the correlation was modest and significant only for students whose class rank placed them at heightened risk of bar failure. Even for those students, the marginal benefit of additional bar-related courses was not statistically significant once the student had taken approximately the average number of bar courses at that school.

KM 5

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September 10, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

2020 U.S. News College Rankings

US NewsU.S. News & World Report has released its 2020 College Rankings. Here are the Top 25 National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges (along with their 2017-2019 rankings):

2020

Rank

 

National Universities

2019

Rank

2018

Rank

2017

Rank

1

Princeton

1

1

1

2

Harvard

2

2

2

3

Columbia

3

5

5

3

MIT

3

5

7

3

Yale

3

3

3

6

Chicago

3

3

3

6

Stanford

7

5

5

6

Penn

8

8

8

9

Northwestern

10

11

12

10

Duke

8

9

8

10

Johns Hopkins

10

11

10

12

Cal-Tech

12

10

12

12

Dartmouth

12

11

11

14

Brown

14

14

14

15

Vanderbilt

14

14

15

15

Notre Dame

18

18

15

17

Cornell

16

14

15

17

Rice

16

14

15

19

Washington (St. Louis)

19

18

19

20

UCLA

19

21

24

21

Emory

21

21

20

22

UC-Berkeley

22

21

20

22

USC

22

21

23

24

Georgetown  

22

20

20

25

Carnegie Mellon

25

25

24

25

Michigan

27

28

27

Pepperdine is ranked #50 (tied with Georgia, Lehigh, and RPI).

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September 10, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Arizona State Business School Abandons Tuition-Free MBAs After Rankings Boost Fades

Wall Street Journal, A ‘Free’ M.B.A. Sometimes Isn’t Enough to Lure Students:

Arizona State University LogoArizona State University’s business school used a $50 million donation to bet on a future where its M.B.A. is free. Four years after slashing tuition costs for full-time students to zero, the dean says the cost is still too high for many people.

Turns out, luring talented graduate students to a two-year degree program in the current hot job market requires even more creative financing, says Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The sticker price of business school, which can add up to six figures, is just one of several factors that keep millennials from pursuing an M.B.A.

“We thought by announcing that everyone would be getting the same deal on a world-class education, we’d get a very different class,” she says. “We didn’t know how much scholarships were being used by our peer schools” to lure the same small pool of talent.

In 2015 when the university launched its novel experiment to draw a more diverse M.B.A. class, the news of free M.B.A.s for everybody accepted was met with a flood of interest. Admissions officers were inundated with a record number of applications for the inaugural class of fully funded business-school candidates.

The scholarship program successfully paved a path for many early-career workers in the nonprofit sector and education, Ms. Hillman says. But school leaders underestimated the fierceness of the competition from other M.B.A. programs.

Many universities have started to heavily subsidize the cost of a degree—which can top $200,000 with living expenses at highly ranked programs such as Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—by awarding millions of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year. Ms. Hillman says schools like hers, regarded among the nation’s top 50 programs by academic-rankings publishers, attract thousands of candidates eager to pursue an M.B.A. at a fraction of the prices those elite schools charge.

Free tuition alone doesn’t provide a strong enough incentive to return to school for some prospects who might need two years’ worth of living expenses to attend full-time, she says. Other admitted applicants were turning down Carey’s offer for even richer scholarship packages at other business schools, the dean adds, highlighting the value of a more flexible financial-aid strategy.

Arizona State

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September 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 9, 2019

2018 James P. White Lecture on Legal Education: The Leadership Council On Legal Diversity — Realizing The Vision

Robert J. Grey, Jr. (President, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity), 2018 James P. White Lecture on Legal Education: The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity: Realizing the Vision, 52 Ind. L. Rev. 95 (2019):

In its first ten years, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) has grown, and grown rapidly, to a membership of more than 300 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners. These individuals represent the top ranks of leadership in the legal profession. They have each made a personal commitment to the next generation of leaders in the law to build a profession that is as diverse as the nation it serves. Theirs is a compelling vision, but one that they understand will not be realized quickly. Clear-eyed about the challenges, they are committed to action and determined to see results that are profound and lasting.

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September 9, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

GAO: Department Of Education Rejects 99% Of Applications For ‘Expanded’ Public Interest Loan-Forgiveness Program

Government Accountability Office, Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Improving the Temporary Expanded Process Could Help Reduce Borrower Confusion (GAO-19-595) (Sept 5, 2019): 

The Department of Education's (Education) process for obtaining Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) is not clear to borrowers. Established in 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives federal student loans for borrowers who work for certain public service employers for at least 10 years while making 120 payments via eligible repayment plans, among other requirements. In 2018, Congress funded TEPSLF to help borrowers who faced barriers obtaining PSLF loan forgiveness because they were on repayment plans that were ineligible for PSLF. Congress also required Education to develop a simple method for borrowers to apply for TEPSLF. Education established a process for borrowers to initiate their TEPSLF requests via e-mail. The agency also required TESPLF applicants to submit a separate PSLF application before it would consider their TEPSLF request. Agency officials said they established this process to quickly implement TEPSLF and obtain the information needed to determine borrower eligibility. However, the process can be confusing for borrowers who do not understand why they must apply separately for PSLF—a program they are ineligible for—to be eligible for TEPSLF. Requiring borrowers to submit a separate PSLF application to pursue TEPSLF, rather than having an integrated request such as by including a checkbox on the PSLF application for interested borrowers, is not aligned with Education's strategic goal to improve customer service to borrowers. As a result, some eligible borrowers may miss the opportunity to have their loans forgiven.

As of May 2019, Education had processed about 54,000 requests for TEPSLF loan forgiveness since May 2018, and approved 1 percent of these requests, totaling about $26.9 million in loan forgiveness (see figure). Most denied requests (71 percent) were denied because the borrower had not submitted a PSLF application. Others were denied because the borrower had not yet made 120 qualifying payments (4 percent) or had no qualifying federal loans (3 percent).

Loans

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September 9, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Philosopher Asks: Should Work Be Our Passion, Or Our Duty?

New York Times op-ed:  Should Work Be Passion, or Duty?, by Firmin DeBrabander (Professor of Philosophy, Maryland Institute College of Art):

Too many of us expect our jobs to give meaning to our lives. There is a better way.

Americans are uniquely obsessed with work. Could any other nation come up with a product like Soylent, a meal substitute, not for the elderly, the poor or the malnourished, but for software engineers, Wall Street brokers, tech entrepreneurs and others who don’t want to be diverted from their work by the time consuming intricacies of a meal? Could you imagine the French conceiving such a thing?

While other wealthy nations have shortened the workweek, given their citizens more free time and schemed to make their lives more pleasant, stress-free and enjoyable, the United States offers a curious paradox: Though the standard of living has risen, and creature comforts are more readily and easily available — and though technological innovations have made it easier to work efficiently — people work more, not less.

Why is this?

One theory is that Americans have come to expect work to be a source of meaning in their lives. Our “conception of work has shifted from jobs to careers, to callings,” explains Derek Thompson, in a recent article in The Atlantic. There is a growing expectation, if not insistence, that work is to be your passion, your obsession — a veritable religion that Thompson dubs “Workism.” This is especially pronounced among the upper classes — precisely those people who do not need to obsess over work, at least for material concerns.

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September 8, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

University of Alabama, Hugh Culverhouse End Spat After Return Of $21.5 Million Gift And Removal Of Donor's Name From Law School

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Joint Statement by Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama:

Alabama Logo (2019) (Crossed Out)The University of Alabama and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. agree that they had different views regarding the future of The University of Alabama School of Law. On that basis, the parties agreed to the University’s return of the Culverhouse donations for the benefit of the law school as well as reverting to the law school’s original name. All other statements made by either party regarding the decision to return Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s donations, or the removal of Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s name from The University of Alabama School of Law are withdrawn. This statement is the sole controlling statement by both parties regarding those matters, and neither party will issue any further statement as to the same.

The Walton Sun, University of Alabama, Hugh Culverhouse Jr. End Spat:

Months after the public fallout between the University of Alabama and its largest donor of the past decade saw the return of more than $21 million in gifts, the system released a joint statement with Hugh Culverhouse Jr. framing the spat as the result of divergent views about the future of the law school.

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September 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Judge Recommends Dismissing Lawsuit Accusing Widener Law School Of Doctoring Job Stats

New Jersey Law Journal, Judge Recommends Dismissing Lawsuit Accusing Widener Law School of Doctoring Job Stats:

Widener Delaware LogoA lawsuit accusing Widener University School of Law of inflating job statistics is facing dismissal nearly seven years after it was filed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor recommended in a report made public Friday that the case be dismissed with prejudice for failure to prosecute. The recommendation comes after the sole remaining plaintiff, Gregory Emond, who is pro se, did not appear for an Aug. 27 hearing on an order to show cause on why the case should not be dismissed. Waldor’s recommendation is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in 14 days after any objectors are allowed to be heard.

The suit against Widener was filed in 2012 as part of a movement accusing law schools of overstating their graduates’ success in finding legal employment. Similar suits were filed against DePaul University College of Law, John Marshall Law School, Golden Gate University School of Law, the University of San Francisco School of Law and the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, among others. But law schools generally prevailed in the litigation. ...

Widener’s law school in Wilmington, Delaware, was accused of claiming that 90% of its graduates got jobs within nine months of graduation, without distinguishing between legal jobs and other positions. Lead plaintiff John Harnish, who obtained his law degree from Widener in 2009, claimed he was unable to find a law job and instead worked as a bartender. ...

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September 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 6, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Thursday, September 5, 2019

2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings

WSJ THE2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings (methodology):

Outcomes (40%):

  • Graduation rate (11%)
  • Value added to graduate salary (12%)
  • Debt after graduation (7%)
  • Academic reputation (10%)

Resources (30%):

  • Finance per student (11%)
  • Faculty per student (11%)
  • Research papers per faculty (8%)

Engagement (20%):

  • Student engagement (7%)
  • Student recommendation (6%)
  • Interaction with teachers and students (4%)
  • Number of accredited programs (3%)

Environment (10%):

  • Proportion of international students (2%)
  • Student diversity (3%) 
  • Student inclusion (2%)
  • Staff diversity (3%)

The fourth annual WSJ/THE rankings list 801 schools. Here are the Top 10:

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September 5, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

How To Give A Great Job Talk

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  How to Give an Excellent STEM Job Talk, by Russ E. Carpenter (Stanford) & R. Parrish Waters (University of Mary Washington):

For Ph.D.s on the job market in the sciences, no element of the hiring process is more important for making or breaking your prospects than the job talk.

At some point in the 2019-20 hiring season — once you’ve made the long journey from application packet to Skype interview to campus visit — you will have to deliver a job talk. It will play a large part in determining the next decade or more of your career.

Yes, other aspects of the campus interview — the one-on-ones, the dinners with professors, the lunches with students, the meetings with administrators — will influence the ultimate decision about whether you are hired. But the job talk is where you can really shine — or very publicly fail. It is where you are given the stage to showcase your lecturing abilities, convey who you are and what you do, and, importantly, demonstrate how you could contribute to the department and the institution.

Given the impact of this segment of the interview, you would think that less-than-stellar job talks were a rare find. Sadly, far too many applicants find themselves in the midst of a cringeworthy monologue, full of disconnected experiments and overly complex graphs with no central theme or story. Worse yet are the applicants who never realize that at all, as their audience struggles to follow along (and mentally moves the candidates into the "no" pile).

In short, regardless of the number of lines on your CV, a poor job talk is the quickest way to sink your chances of landing the position. But, dear reader, you already know that — as we’re not the first to stress the importance of the job talk. A quick search turns up articles stressing practical (a checklist of what to include), professional (know your audience), and obvious (practice, practice, practice) advice.

Here, rather than repackage those tips, we stress points that we see as fundamental to a good job talk.

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September 5, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Secret Presidential Searches And Faculty Fury

Inside Higher Ed, Secret Searches and Faculty Fury:

In recent years one of the greatest points of contention between faculty members and their institutions’ governing boards has been over the board’s arguably most important function: the search for and the selection of a president to lead the institution.

Throughout higher education, campus stakeholders are increasingly disapproving of and speaking publicly about searches conducted by their institution. One of the more frequent complaints is the growing tendency of governing boards to conduct a “secret search.” In these cases, those involved in the process keep the names of any potential candidates under wraps until an appointee is announced, or in other, similar cases, boards announce a sole finalist who will meet with campus leaders and get to know the institution before being officially appointed.

However, as these instances and the faculty outrage that often comes with them become more frequent, some more recent searches where multiple candidates have been announced before the board votes have not been without significant controversy. ...

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September 5, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Lipshaw: Lawyering Somewhere Between Computation And The Will To Act

Jeffrey M. Lipshaw (Suffolk), Lawyering Somewhere Between Computation and the Will to Act: A Digital Age Reflection:

This is a reflection on machine and human contributions to lawyering in the digital age. Increasingly capable machines can already unleash massive processing power on vast stores of discovery and research data to assess relevancies and, at times, to predict legal outcomes. At the same time, there is wide acceptance, at least among legal academics, of the conclusions from behavioral psychology that slow, deliberative “System 2” thinking (perhaps replicated computationally) needs to control the heuristics and biases to which fast, intuitive “System 1” thinking is prone. Together, those trends portend computational deliberation – artificial intelligence or machine learning – substituting for human thinking in more and more of a lawyer’s professional functions.

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September 5, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Top 100 Business Schools For Faculty Research

The University of Texas-Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management has released its annual ranking of the Top 100 business schools based on faculty research published in the Top 24 journals. The current ranking is based on publications in the most recent five-year period (2014-2018). Here are the Top 10 in faculty publications, along with each school's in new SSRN download rankings and overall ranking in Poets & Quants (US News (35%), Forbes (25%), Financial Times (15%), Businessweek (15%), and The Economist (10%)):

Faculty Research

School

Overall

 Publications

Downloads

Poets & Quants (US News, Forbes, Financial Times, Businessweek, The Economist)

1

4

Penn (Wharton)

2

2

1

NYU (Stern)

16

3

3

Harvard

1

4

38

Texas-Dallas (Jindal)

45

5

8

Columbia

7

6

13

USC (Marshall)

22

7

2

Chicago (Booth)

4

8

11

Michigan (Ross)

10

9

5

MIT (Sloan)

6

10

6

Stanford

3

September 4, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

ABA Tax Section Releases 19th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge Problem

The ABA Tax Section has released the J.D. Problem (rules; entry form) and LL.M. Problem (rules; entry form) for the 19th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

LSTCAn alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge asks two-person teams of students to solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division and four teams from the LL.M. Division receive a free trip (including airfare and accommodations for two nights) to the Section of Taxation 2020 Midyear Meeting, January 30-February 1, in Boca Raton, FL, where each team will defend its submission before a panel of judges representing the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including Tax Court judges.

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September 4, 2019 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: ‘Father Is Surgeon,’ ‘1 Mil Pledge’: The Role of Money In USC Admissions

Wall Street Journal, ‘Father Is Surgeon,’ ‘1 Mil Pledge’: The Role of Money in USC Admissions:

USC Logo (2019)Emails among athletics, admissions and fundraising officials at the University of Southern California show the school explicitly weighed how much money applicants’ families could donate when determining whether to admit students.

The messages were filed Tuesday in a Boston federal court by a lawyer for two parents accused in the nationwide college-admissions cheating scandal. He claims USC wasn’t a victim of any scheme, but rather based admission decisions in part on expectations of donations from well-heeled families.

They include intricate spreadsheets color-coded by university officials to track “special-interest applicants”—applicants flagged for their connections to USC officials, trustees, donors or other VIPs—with direct references to past and prospective dollar amounts of gifts from their families.

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September 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Law School Dean Demographics

Karen Sloan, Ahead of the Curve: Tracking Law Deans:

Jim Rosenblatt, himself a former law dean at Mississippi College School of Law, contacted me last week to let me know that he had expanded his always useful law deans database to add gender and ethnicity fields. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 38% of current deans are women—a figure that’s even higher than I realized. (I thought it was about a third.)
  • 26% are minorities. Among them: 15% are African American; 7% are Hispanic; 3% are Asian/Pacific Islander; and 1% are Native American. 
  • More than a quarter of the 200 or so law deans graduated from either Harvard Law School or Yale Law School, which is a figure unlikely to surprise anyone familiar with the legal academy and its obsession with pedigree.
  • The average tenure of current law deans is just over 3.5 years [the median is 3.2 years]. ...

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September 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

ABA Employees Are Eligible For Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Program, Perhaps Paving Way For Employees Of Other Non-Legal Service Providers

Law.com, ABA Secures Loan Forgiveness Status After 3-Year Battle:

ABA Logo (2016)The American Bar Association has come out ahead in its legal fight to ensure that all of its employees qualify for the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The ABA has been battling the U.S. Department of Education in court since December 2016, when it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia after several employees were informed by the servicer of their government-issued student loans that the ABA is not an eligible employer under the loan forgiveness program.

But the ABA said this week that the loan servicer has reversed course and sent letters to those borrowers stating that it had made an error and that the ABA is a qualified employer for the program. That decision paves the way for any ABA employee to have their federal loans forgiven after 10 years, provided they meet the many criteria laid out under the program.

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September 3, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Online Law School Classes Deliver Results For Law Students

Yvonne Dutton, Margaret Ryznar & Kayleigh Long (Indiana-Indianapolis), Assessing Asynchronous Online Learning in Law Schools: Students Say Online Classes Deliver, 96 Denv. L. Rev. 493 (2019):

This is the first article to provide empirical data on the effectiveness of distance education in law schools since the ABA this summer approved increasing the total number of credits that law students could earn through online classes from 15 to 30. Our data, composed of law student surveys and focus groups, reveal not only the success of distance education in their experience, but also the methods that are most effective for them.

Margaret Ryznar, Insights on Online Teaching:

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September 3, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The 30 Most Fun Law Schools

Online Paralegal Programs, 30 Law Schools With The Most To Do For Fun:

Law schools in the United States have long been considered among the world’s finest – and perhaps most well situated – offering top-class training amid exciting cities and stunning scenery. What’s more, although the 21st century has undoubtedly brought a wealth of online opportunities in legal and paralegal training, a more in-person experience that caters to students’ educational needs and personal interests can be especially rewarding. Finding the right school, however, may be a challenge.

Here are 30 law schools that meet all tastes, opening doors to everything from vibrant metropolises and college towns known for live music, sports and cuisine, to picturesque campuses within easy reach of the great outdoors. [See methodology here.] ...

The Top 10 are:

  1. Colorado
  2. San Diego
  3. UC-Berkeley
  4. Cornell
  5. Georgia
  6. Florida
  7. Chicago
  8. Northwestern
  9. Pepperdine
  10. Hawaii

Here is the description of #9 Pepperdine:

Located in an area that has what A Luxury Travel Blog calls “the most perfect weather on the planet,” Pepperdine University School of Law ought to appeal to those looking to complete their studies in one of California’s most spectacular beach communities. The school’s position on the university’s main Malibu campus affords tantalizing views of legendary surf spot First Point, while Pepperdine students also have easy access to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Meanwhile, fine dining and hip nightlife can be found amid Malibu’s affluent, celebrity-infused community of around 12,600 residents; the various beach bars and restaurants lining the Pacific Coast Highway are great starting points. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school itself boasts the top-ranked dispute resolution program in the country, and in addition it offers notable entertainment law teaching.

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September 3, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, September 2, 2019

Black College Enrollment Is Down 13% Since 2010

Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Has Black-Student Enrollment Fallen?:

From the fall of 2010 to the fall of 2017, Amherst’s African-American enrollment rose to 1,320, from just 1,000, a 32 percent increase. Black students still make up just 5.2 percent of the student body. But the numbers are moving in a positive direction.

That is not the case for black enrollment in college over all. It hit a peak in 2010 and has declined by more than 13 percent since then [Change in Black vs. Overall College Enrollment, by Sector, Fall 2010 to Fall 2017]. Sixty-six percent of recent black high-school graduates enrolled in college in 2010. By 2017 that share had fallen to 58 percent.

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September 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Future Of The Bar Exam

Phase 1

Kyle McEntee (Law School Transparency), The Future Of The Bar Exam:

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) released its Testing Task Force’s Phase 1 report this week. The report summarizes what people throughout the legal profession think about the current licensing process and exam. While readers will not be surprised by the general sentiments — people are generally dissatisfied with the current bar exam — they may be surprised that the NCBE published such forceful critiques. ...

Phase I involved listening sessions with lawyers, judges, examiners, and educators. Phase II involves a practice analysis to “gather current, empirical data on the knowledge, skills, abilities, other characteristics, and technologies that newly licensed lawyers use to accomplish the job tasks they perform.” Phase III will involve turning the results of Phase I and II into exam design recommendations by the end of 2020. ...

That brings us to the Phase I report and some common threads throughout all the listening sessions.

  • The exam tests both too much and too little. That is, it should emphasize more lawyering skills and less subject matter knowledge.
  • The exam should utilize more writing, less multiple-choice, and additional methods like simulation.
  • Jurisdictions should consider breaking the exam into different parts over more than just a few days. ...

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September 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Law Schools' Career Services Offices Get High Marks From Grads

Law.com, Law Schools' Career Services Offices Get High Marks From Grads:

The majority of recent law graduates say their law school career services offices are making the grade.

Nearly a quarter of the 417 new lawyers surveyed by Kaplan Bar Review give their career services offices an “A” when it comes to helping them find a job. Another 30% said their career services earned a “B,” while 23% gave a “C.” On the opposite end, 14% of respondents said their school career services earned a “D,” while 11% doled out an “F.”

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September 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Self-Citation And 'Citation Farms' Distort Citation Metrics

Science Alert, Some of The World's Most-Cited Scientists Have a Secret That's Just Been Exposed:

A new study has revealed an unsettling truth about the citation metrics that are commonly used to gauge scientists' level of impact and influence in their respective fields of research.

Citation metrics indicate how often a scientist's research output is formally referenced by colleagues in the footnotes of their own papers – but a comprehensive analysis of this web of linkage shows the system is compromised by a hidden pattern of behaviour that often goes unnoticed.

Specifically, among the 100,000 most cited scientists between 1996 to 2017, there's a stealthy pocket of researchers who represent "extreme self-citations and 'citation farms' (relatively small clusters of authors massively citing each other's papers)," explain the authors of the new study, led by physician turned meta-researcher John Ioannidis from Stanford University [A Standardized Citation Metrics Author Database Annotated For Scientific Field]. ...

One of those problems, Ioannidis says, is how self-citations compromise the reliability of citation metrics as a whole, especially at the hands of extreme self-citers and their associated clusters. "I think that self-citation farms are far more common than we believe," Ioannidis told Nature [Hundreds of Extreme Self-Citing Scientists Revealed in New Database]. "Those with greater than 25 percent self-citation are not necessarily engaging in unethical behaviour, but closer scrutiny may be needed." ...

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August 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The 50 Most Impressive Law School Buildings In The World

Best Choice Schools, The 50 Most Impressive Law School Buildings in the World:

DurhamFrom stunning examples of Gothic revival to Brutalism’s giant box-like constructions, the world’s most impressive law school buildings span decades and even centuries. With modern marvels like Frank Gehry’s Loyola Law campus and the new University of Sydney Faculty of Law building, and traditional structures like Yale Law’s Sterling Law Building, these architectural giants were chosen for their ingenuity, aesthetic beauty, and commitment to creating an environment that honors the history and study of law. Many of these buildings house some of the world’s most prestigious and selective law programs, and a number of them set a precedent for green building standards and solutions.

Here are the Top 10:

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August 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

44 Law Schools Now Accept The GRE For Admissions (The Latest Are Cal-Western, Penn State, And SMU)

GRECalifornia-Western, Penn State, and SMU are the latest law school to accept the GRE (joining American, Arizona, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Pepperdine, SeattleSouth Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington University, and Yale).

Georgia allows students enrolled in a dual degree program at the university to submit the GRE. (George Washington has rescinded its use of the GRE because it has not done a school-specific validation study.)  A non-U.S. law school — Hamd Bin Khalifa University Law School (Qatar), in partnership with Northwestern — also accepts the GRE.

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August 30, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)