Paul L. Caron
Dean





Thursday, January 26, 2023

Seattle Law School Responds To 'Incendiary Allegations' Of Discrimination Against Visiting Professor

Law.com, Seattle U Law Responds to 'Incendiary Allegations' of Discrimination Against Visiting Professor:

Seattle U (2018)Seattle University School of Law Dean Anthony Varona wrote in an email to students and faculty Monday that the school is conducting an internal probe into allegations of racism against a visiting professor that were made public by the university’s student newspaper.

In a Jan. 18 article, The Seattle Spectator, Seattle University’s undergraduate student newspaper, reported that students had alleged “racially discriminatory treatment” by a visiting professor at the law school.

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January 26, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

With Gonzaga, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, And Seattle, 36 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings

US News (2023)

  U.S. News Rank
Boycott (36)
Yale 1
Stanford 2
Columbia 4
Harvard 4
Penn 6
NYU 7
Virginia 8
UC-Berkeley 9
Michigan 10
Duke 11
Northwestern 13
Georgetown 14
UCLA 15
Fordham 37
UC-Davis 37
UC-Irvine 37
Maryland 47
University of Washington 49
UC-San Francisco 51
Penn State-Dickinson 58
Penn State-Univ. Park 64
St. John's 84
Rutgers 86
New Hampshire 105
Gonzaga 116
Seattle 116
Idaho 142
Cal-Western 147-192
Campbell 147-192
John Marshall (GA) 147-192
Quinnipiac 147-192
Roger Williams 147-192
San Francisco 147-192
South Texas 147-192
Southwestern 147-192
Western Michigan 147-192
No Boycott (53)
Chicago 3
Cornell 12
Washington Univ. 16
Florida 21
Georgia 29
George Mason 30
Arizona 45
Colorado 49
SMU 58
San Diego 64
Kentucky 67
Seton Hall 73
Case Western 78
South Carolina 84
Cincinnati 88
Louisville 94
Indiana (McKinney) 98
Louisiana State* 105
Texas Tech 105
Washburn 105
Drake 111
Mississippi 111
Stetson 111
Missouri-Kansas City* 114
Chapman 118
Hofstra 118
West Virginia 118
Baltimore 122
Mercer 122
Suffolk 122
Cleveland-Marshall 127
Willamette 129
Wyoming 129
Pacific 133
South Dakota 133
Regent 142
Akron 147-192
Arkansas-Little Rock 147-192
Ave Maria 147-192
Elon 147-192
Faulkner 147-192
John Marshall (IL) 147-192
Liberty 147-192
Lincoln Memorial 147-192
Mississippi College 147-192
North Dakota 147-192
Nova 147-192
Ohio Northern* 147-192
Oklahoma City 147-192
Southern Illinois 147-192
St. Mary's 147-192
Toledo 147-192
Western New England 147-192

*Will answer some but not all questions

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January 26, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

How Diversity Is Lingering Over The LSAT And U.S. News Law School Rankings

How Diversity Is Lingering Over the LSAT and U.S. News & World Report Rankings, Nat'l Jurist, Winter 2023, at 4:

An ABA committee has recommended that standardized tests — most notably the LSAT — be optional for law school admission. Critics say schools place too much emphasis on it, and Black and Hispanic test-takers don’t perform as well on it as their white counterparts. ...

At the same time, a number of the nation’s most prestigious law schools are opting out of the much-hyped U.S. News & World Report rankings, blasting the assessment for a host of wrongs. Some say schools are boosting their positions in the rankings by admitting top students at the expense of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Love ’em or hate ’em, the ranking affects both school and student behavior. ...

What’s caused such upheaval in such a short time?

Some say law schools are preparing for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down — or seriously weaken — the ability of schools to use affirmative action practices in their admissions decisions. If that happens, schools will need to pivot and not be as dependent on such concrete metrics as the LSAT. If they continue the current course, it could gut diversity. The high court, which heard arguments last October, is expected to rule in June.

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January 26, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Clash And The U.S. News Law School Rankings: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Lolita Buckner Inniss (Dean, Colorado), Should I Stay or Should I Go?, 26 Green Bag 2D 19 (2013):

US News (2023)During the fall and winter of 2022-2023, several United States law schools withdrew from participation in the U.S. News & World Report survey of law schools. For over three decades the survey ranked law schools, and in doing so, has become an increasingly influential arbiter of law school quality. Law schools, however, have argued that the survey fails to assess the nature and quality of schools fully or accurately, and for that reason many have ceased to participate--they are the “goers.” Other schools have chosen to continue participating; these are the “stayers.” While goers seem to have garnered news headlines as heroic, autonomy-embracing figures, it is worth considering whether the choice of going, or staying for that matter, will meaningfully alter how law schools are viewed. The world of law, and law schools, has long been governed by entrenched hierarchies and markers of status that exist well beyond the U.S. News & World Report survey.

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January 25, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-San Francisco Seeks To Hire A Clinical Tax Professor

UC-San Francisco Law Faculty Posting:

Uc sf lawUniversity of California, College of the Law, San Francisco (“UC Law SF,” formerly, “UC Hastings Law”), located in San Francisco, California, has one of the top-ranked clinical programs in the country, and currently operates a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) in which students take lead responsibility to directly represent low-income taxpayers with tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

UC Law SF is looking to hire a full-time Long-Term Contract Faculty member (“Associate Clinical Professor”) to serve as a member of the Faculty and Clinic Director of the LITC. The faculty position for which UC Law SF is hiring is partly funded by UC Law SF but contingent on continued receipt of additional funds via an IRS grant.

In addition to supervising students in their legal representation, LITC Clinic Director duties also include managing other tax pro bono projects at UC Law SF, ensuring compliance and renewal of the IRS grant, and active participation in tax-related programming of the UC Law SF Center on Tax Law. ...

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January 25, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

The 50 Most Downloaded U.S. Law Professors Of 2022

Ssrn

Rank Name School Downloads
1 Cass Sunstein Harvard 43,282
2 Daniel Solove George Washington 28,479
3 Lucian Bebchuk Harvard 27,727
4 Mark Lemley Stanford 21,131
5 Orin Kerr UC-Berkeley 19,608
6 Roberto Tallarita Harvard 15,229
7 Brian Frye Kentucky 14,991
8 Bernard Black Northwestern 13,599
9 Brandon Hasbrouck Washington & Lee 13,456
10 Danielle Keats Citron Virginia 13,417
11 Greer Donley Pittsburgh 12,490
12 Herbert Hovenkamp Penn 12,086
13 Rachel Rebouché Temple 11,833
14 Reuven Avi-Yonah Michigan 11,679
15 David Cohen Drexel 11,670
16 Brian Leiter Chicago 11,411
17 J. Mark Ramseyer Harvard 10,743
18 Stephen Bainbridge UCLA 10,708
19 Dan Kahan Yale 10,527
20 Mitu Gulati Virginia 10,472
21 Michael Klausner Stanford 10,252
22 Adrian Vermeule Harvard 9,420
23 Michael Ohlrogge NYU 9,375
24 Woodrow Hartzog Boston University 9,236
25 Wulf Kaal St. Thomas-MN 9,202
26 Eric Posner Chicago 8,967
27 Eric Goldman Santa Clara 8,819
28 Richard Albert Texas 8,522
29 Kevin Tobia Georgetown 8,160
30 Richard Leo San Francisco 8,154
31 David Kopel Denver 8,023
32 Neil Richards Washington University 7,890
33 Chris Brummer Georgetown 7,886
34 Hilary Allen American 7,588
35 Peter Menell UC-Berkeley 7,584

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January 25, 2023 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

The 50 Most Downloaded U.S. Tax Law Professors Of 2022

Ssrn

Rank Name School Downloads
1 Reuven Avi-Yonah Michigan 11,679
2 Daniel Hemel NYU 4,980
3 Bridget Crawford Pace 4,235
4 Robert Sitkoff Harvard 3,074
5 Zachary Liscow Yale 2,780
6 Dhammika Dharmapala Chicago 2,745
7 Ruth Mason Virginia 2,693
8 Richard Ainsworth Boston University 2,674
9 Darien Shanske UC-Davis 2,617
10 David Gamage Indiana 2,595
11 Louis Kaplow Harvard 2,535
12 Kyle Rozema Washington University 2,498
13 Kimberley Clausing UCLA 2,270
14 Michael Doran Virginia 2,154
15 Lily Batchelder NYU 2,069
16 Brad Borden Brooklyn 1,991
17 Young Ran (Christine) Kim Cardozo 1,917
18 Dan Shaviro NYU 1,849
19 David Kamin NYU 1,726
20 Victoria Haneman Creighton 1,687
21 Margaret Ryznar Indiana-Indianapolis 1,557
22 Edward McCaffery USC 1,454
23 Chris Sanchirico Penn 1,432
24 Francine Lipman UNLV 1,369
25 Michael Simkovic USC 1,364
26 Paul Caron Pepperdine 1,312
27 Victor Fleischer UC-Irvine 1,305
28 Jeremy Bearer-Friend George Washington 1,304
29 Omri Marian UC-Irvine 1,296
30 Ari Glogower Ohio State 1,291
31 Brian Galle Georgetown 1,230
32 Hugh Ault Boston College 1,227
33 David Weisbach Chicago 1,194
34 Kristin Hickman Minnesota 1,146
35 Nancy McLaughlin Utah 1,130

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January 25, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

After Katie Magbanua Flips On Charlie Adelson, He Asks Judge To Keep Her Statements To Investigators Under Wraps Until April Trial In Dan Markel's Murder

Following up on my previous post, The Dan Markel Murder Case: Katie Magbanua Flips On Charlie Adelson:  Tallahassee Democrat, Charlie Adelson's Attorneys Want Magbanua's Statements Private Until Trial:

Magbanua AdelsonAttorneys for accused Dan Markel murder suspect Charlie Adelson are asking a Leon County judge to keep any statements made to investigators by his one-time girlfriend secret until after she testifies.

The protective order filed Tuesday in Leon County Circuit Court asks that the statements made by Katherine Magbanua — convicted of Markel’s murder last year — to investigators late last year be kept from the public to minimize the level of pretrial publicity.

Adelson is set to go to trial in connection with his ex-brother-in-law’s 2014 murder on charges of first-degree murder and related conspiracy and solicitation charges in late April.

His arrest last year signaled that after two convictions and more than eight years, investigators had gathered enough evidence to arrest the man they say was behind Markel’s murder-for-hire. 

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January 25, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Yale Law School Restricts Access To FedSoc Free Speech Panel Today To Avoid Repeat Of Last Year's Controversy

Following up on my previous post:  Kristen Waggoner (General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom), 'Keep the Faith': How A Hostile Encounter With Yale Law Students Emboldened Me To Speak The Truth With Kindness:  Aaron Sibarium (Washington Free Beacon), Looking To Tamp Down Controversy, Yale Law School Restricts Access to Free Speech Panel:

Yale Law Logo (2020)In March 2022, hundreds of students at Yale Law School disrupted a panel with Kristen Waggoner, a conservative lawyer who has argued religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court, arguing that her presence was a "slap in the face" to "queer students." Yale's response to the incident left the school with egg on its face: Though the protest clearly violated Yale's free speech policies, which do not allow protesters to disrupt speakers, not a single student was disciplined.

Now Waggoner is returning to Yale Law for another talk. And this time, administrators aren't leaving anything to chance, banning press and anyone without a Yale Law School ID, including undergraduate students, from the event. They are also trying to prohibit covert cell phone recordings, which picked up audio of last year's disruption. It is not clear whether the ban on media includes the Yale Daily News, Yale's flagship student paper, whose editor in chief, Lucy Hodgman, did not respond to a request for comment.

The event, scheduled for noon on Tuesday and hosted by the Federalist Society, will also feature Nadine Strossen, the first female president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Yale's draconian measures aren't sitting well with her. She is calling the school's decision to ban the press "unjustifiable," telling the Washington Free Beacon, "For an event that is discussing important First Amendment issues—and is designed to illustrate Yale Law School's announced recommitment to free speech—it is sadly ironic that elementary freedom of speech principles are being violated."

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January 24, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

ChatGPT Gets C+ Grade On Four Minnesota Law School Exams (C- In Tax)

Following up on this morning's post, ChatGPT Gets B|B- Grade On Wharton MBA Exam:  Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar), Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar), Amy Monahan (Minnesota) & Daniel Schwarcz (Minnesota; Google Scholar), ChatGPT Goes to Law School:

Open AI ChatGPTHow well can AI models write law school exams without human assistance? To find out, we used the widely publicized AI model ChatGPT to generate answers on four real exams at the University of Minnesota Law School. We then blindly graded these exams as part of our regular grading processes for each class. Over 95 multiple choice questions and 12 essay questions, ChatGPT performed on average at the level of a C+ student, achieving a low but passing grade in all four courses. After detailing these results, we discuss their implications for legal education and lawyering. We also provide example prompts and advice on how ChatGPT can assist with legal writing.

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January 24, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

ChatGPT Gets B|B- Grade On Wharton MBA Exam

Following up on this morning's post, ChatGPT Gets C+ Grade On Four Minnesota Law School Exams:  Christian Terwiesch (Wharton; Google Scholar), Would Chat GPT3 Get a Wharton MBA?:

Open AI ChatGPTOpenAI’s Chat GPT3 has shown a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants. Chat GPT3 has demonstrated the capability of performing professional tasks such as writing software code and preparing legal documents. The purpose of this paper is to document how Chat GPT3 performed on the final exam of a typical MBA core course, Operations Management. Exam questions were uploaded as used in a final exam setting and then graded.

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January 24, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, January 23, 2023

Legal Ed News Roundup

U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard (Updated)

ABA Journal, US News Extends Rankings Survey Deadline; Which Law Schools Will File?:

After years of complaints about the U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings, some deans started announcing in November that they would not respond to the publication’s annual survey. And they were not swayed to opt back in when methodology changes were shared this month.

U.S. News recently extended the survey deadline to Jan. 27. The ABA Journal asked all ABA-accredited law schools whether they planned to submit the survey. Out of the 110 schools that responded, 25 said they would not, and 22 were undecided. A chart with the information can be seen here.

The table below includes the responses to the ABA Journal as well as public announcements by law schools:

  U.S. News Rank
Boycott (32)
Yale 1
Stanford 2
Columbia 4
Harvard 4
Penn 6
NYU 7
Virginia 8
UC-Berkeley 9
Michigan 10
Duke 11
Northwestern 13
Georgetown 14
UCLA 15
Fordham 37
UC-Davis 37
UC-Irvine 37
Maryland 47
University of Washington 49
UC-San Francisco 51
Penn State-Dickinson 58
Penn State-Univ. Park 64
St. John's 84
New Hampshire 105
Idaho 142
Cal-Western 147-192
Campbell 147-192
John Marshall (GA) 147-192
Roger Williams 147-192
San Francisco 147-192
South Texas 147-192
Southwestern 147-192
Western Michigan 147-192
No Boycott (53)
Chicago 3
Cornell 12
Washington Univ. 16
Florida 21
Georgia 29
George Mason 30
Arizona 45
Colorado 49
SMU 58
San Diego 64
Kentucky 67
Seton Hall 73
Case Western 78
South Carolina 84
Cincinnati 88
Louisville 94
Indiana (McKinney) 98
Louisiana State* 105
Texas Tech 105
Washburn 105
Drake 111
Mississippi 111
Stetson 111
Missouri-Kansas City* 114
Chapman 118
Hofstra 118
West Virginia 118
Baltimore 122
Mercer 122
Suffolk 122
Cleveland-Marshall 127
Willamette 129
Wyoming 129
Pacific 133
South Dakota 133
Regent 142
Akron 147-192
Arkansas-Little Rock 147-192
Ave Maria 147-192
Elon 147-192
Faulkner 147-192
John Marshall (IL) 147-192
Liberty 147-192
Lincoln Memorial 147-192
Mississippi College 147-192
North Dakota 147-192
Nova 147-192
Ohio Northern* 147-192
Oklahoma City 147-192
Southern Illinois 147-192
St. Mary's 147-192
Toledo 147-192
Western New England 147-192

*Will answer some but not all questions

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January 23, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Will The U.S. News Law School Rankings Arms Race Resume In Three Years?

ABA Journal, US News Extends Rankings Survey Deadline; Which Law Schools Will File?:

US News (2023)U.S. News posted a letter Jan. 2 explaining that schools not submitting surveys would still be included in the rankings. Those metrics will focus on public data from the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which is responsible for law school accreditation. Schools that submit surveys will have more detailed profiles, the letter said.

Last week, the publication informed deans about further modifications, including eliminating employment rates, average debt at graduation and spending on instruction from rankings criteria, according to a Jan. 13 letter shared on TaxProf Blog. ...

People may care less about the rankings this year because of the methodological changes, says Mike Spivey, a law school admissions consultant.

“But I’d bet that three years from now, we’re right back to the rankings arms race. As much as people want to say the rankings are horrible and flawed, academics and prospective students are very much interested in what their schools ranked,” he adds.

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January 23, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 22, 2023

How A Person Of Faith Can Overcome Imposter Syndrome In Law School

David Grenardo (St. Thomas-Minnesota), How A Person of Faith Can Address Imposter Syndrome in Law School, 37 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y ___ (2023):

Notre Dame JLEPPImposter syndrome makes people feel as if they are frauds and others will soon find out that they do not belong. Imposter syndrome typically affects high achievers, which includes law students and lawyers. Law schools can provide resources and tools for law students to address imposter syndrome, but a person of faith can approach imposter syndrome in unique ways. This Article sets forth the various ways a law student of faith can confront and overcome imposter syndrome.

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January 22, 2023 in Faith, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

David French: How A Great American Victory Altered American Faith

David French (The Dispatch), How a Great American Victory Altered American Faith:

NonvertsLast week I read a tweet that led me to a book I’m now devouring at record speed. The tweet was from my friend Skye Jethani, and it referred to a potential link between the end of the Cold War and the rise of America’s religious nones. I’ve been thinking about the continuing influence of the Cold War on American life for a very long time. Our nation spent generations defined by the struggle against Soviet communism, and that struggle (along with its rather abrupt end) was bound to have profound effects on our national life.

The book is called Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America, by a British sociologist named Stephen Bullivant. It’s not just an important book, it’s the best-written and most readable work of religious sociology that I’ve read in a very long time.

At the risk of over-simplification, Bullivant’s book attempts to explain the ... remarkable rise of religious “nones” in the United States:

French 3Source: Grid, A Mass Exodus From Christianity Is Underway in America. Here’s Why.

... In the chart above, a distinct data point stands out—the sharp rise of young “nones” begins in the early 1990s. Why? That’s when the Cold War ended, and Bullivant argues convincingly that the end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new era of American religion.

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January 22, 2023 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain Of Loss And The Comfort Of God

Tim Challies, Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God (2022):

Season of SorrowOn November 3, 2020, Tim and Aileen Challies received the shocking news that their son Nick had died. A twenty-year-old student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he had been participating in a school activity with his fiancée, sister, and friends, when he fell unconscious and collapsed to the ground.

Neither students nor a passing doctor nor paramedics were able to revive him. His parents received the news at their home in Toronto and immediately departed for Louisville to be together as a family. While on the plane, Tim, an author and blogger, began to process his loss through writing. In Seasons of Sorrow, Tim shares real-time reflections from the first year of grief—through the seasons from fall to summer—introducing readers to what he describes as the “ministry of sorrow.”

Seasons of Sorrow will benefit both those that are working through sorrow or those comforting others:

  • See how God is sovereign over loss and that he is good in loss
  • Discover how you can pass through times of grief while keeping your faith
  • Learn how biblical doctrine can work itself out even in life’s most difficult situations
  • Understand how it is possible to love God more after loss than you loved him before

Matt McCullough (Christianity Today; Author, Remember Death: The Surprising Path to Living Hope), ‘I Will Grieve but not Grumble, Mourn but not Murmur, Weep but not Whine’: What Tim Challies Resolved in the Wake of His Son’s Sudden Death:

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January 22, 2023 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, January 21, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. NY Times Op-Ed, What If Diversity Trainings Are Doing More Harm Than Good?
  2. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Summary Of Changes To The Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings
  3. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), U.S. News Provides Additional Information On Forthcoming Law School Rankings
  4. Jerry Organ (St. Thomas),  The Declining 2022 Law School Transfer Market
  5. Marcus Cole (Dean, Notre Dame) I Am George Floyd. Except, I Can Breathe. And I Can Do Something.
  6. Derek Muller (Iowa), Modeling and Projecting the Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings
  7. NY Times, If Affirmative Action Ends, College Admissions May Be Changed Forever
  8. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), With Maryland, USF, And South Texas, 28 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings
  9. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Resources For Authors Submitting Law Review Articles In The Spring 2023 Cycle
  10. Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Law Announces Top 10 Law School Innovators

Tax:

  1. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Tax Policy in the Biden Administration
  2. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), The 10 Most Downloaded Tax Articles Of 2022
  3. Wall Street Journal, Why So Many Accountants Are Quitting
  4. Tax Foundation, Americans Moved to Low-Tax States in 2022
  5. Call For Papers, Cambridge Tax Policy Conference On Tax, Public Finance And The Rule of Law
  6. Daniel Hemel (NYU), The IRS’s Christmas Gift To Airbnb And PayPal Is A Loss For Law-Abiding Taxpayers
  7. Susan Morse (Texas), Review of Eleanor Wilking (Cornell), Independent Contractors in Law and in Fact
  8. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  9. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 2023 Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index All (Google Scholar)
  10. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 2023 Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index Since 2018 (Google Scholar)

Faith

  1. Inside Higher Education, Christian Law School To Start Hiring Jewish Faculty

January 21, 2023 in About This Blog, Faith, Legal Education, Tax, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

American Inheritance: Liberty And Slavery In The Birth Of A Nation

New York Times Book Review: Can the Country Come to Terms With Its Original Sin?, by Jon Meacham (Vanderbilt) (reviewing Edward J. Larson (Pepperdine)), American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795 (2023):

American InheritanceIn Edward J. Larson’s “American Inheritance,” the Pulitzer-winning historian attempts to insert reason into a passionate public conversation.

Our own age has been hard on both reason and history. Too often the past has been deployed to fight the ideological wars of the moment, a tendency that reduces history to ammunition. And so Edward J. Larson’s “American Inheritance” is a welcome addition to a public conversation, in the wake of The New York Times’s 1619 Project, that has largely produced more heat than light.

“The role of liberty and slavery in the American Revolution is a partisan minefield,” Larson writes. “Drawing on a popular narrative presenting the expansion of liberty as a driving force in American history, some on the right dismiss the role of slavery in the founding of the Republic. Appealing to a progressive narrative of economic self-interest, and racial and gender bias in American history, some on the left see the defense of state-sanctioned slavery as a cause of the Revolution and an effect of the Constitution.” Larson, a prolific historian whose “Summer for the Gods” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998, writes that this polarity “has opened the way for rigorous historical scholarship” in the tradition of Edmund Morgan and Benjamin Quarles.

American Inheritance,” then, comes to us as an effort to step into the blood-strewn chaos of the present to calm the madness of a public stage where passion has trumped reason. As Larson argues, liberty, slavery and racism — an essential element of slavery — have always been entwined. “One way or another,” he writes, “the American Revolution resulted in the first great emancipation of enslaved Blacks in the New World.”

Yet to deny that a liberty-seeking people largely denied freedom and equality to the enslaved is to deny a self-evident truth. Mindless celebration of the American past is just that — mindless. But so is reflexive condemnation. The messy, difficult, unavoidable truth of the American story is that it is fundamentally a human one. Imperfect, selfish, greedy, cruel — and sometimes noble. One might wish the nation’s story were simple. But that wish is in vain.

A key lesson from Larson’s narrative is that ages past were not benighted by a lack of knowledge of the immorality of race-based slavery. To me, Larson’s unemotional account of the Republic’s beginnings confirms a tragic truth: that influential white Americans knew — and understood — that slavery was wrong and liberty was precious, but chose not to act according to that knowledge and that understanding. ...

Wall Street Journal Book Review:  ‘American Inheritance’ Review: How Bondage Shadowed Freedom, by Harold Holzer (Hunter College):

Mr. Larson, a Pepperdine University historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for a book on the 1925 Scopes trial, submits enough evidence in his newest work to indict almost all the Southern (and some Northern) Founders for, if nothing else, insensitivity to the human beings they held in chains while rebelling against the British for enslaving the American colonies.

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January 21, 2023 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink

State Department Shifts From Times New Roman To Calibri To Make Paperwork More 'Inclusive'

New York Times, Citing Accessibility, State Department Ditches Times New Roman for Calibri:

Times New Roman Calibri 2Wading into a debate that has divided designers and accessibility experts for decades, the United States Department of State said this week that it would stop using the Times New Roman typeface, replacing it with the sans-serif typeface Calibri.

The change will go into effect Feb. 6 and apply to all of the department’s formal communications, Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the department’s first chief diversity officer, said in an interview on Wednesday. The change will help make the department’s paperwork more “fully inclusive,” she said. ...

Designers choosing a font are focusing more on accessibility in recent decades, and considering whether characteristics of some popular fonts can make them more difficult for people to read and understand. That applies especially to those with visual or learning disabilities. ...

The department has used Times New Roman since 2004, when it switched from another serif font, Courier New.

Washington Post, A Font Feud Brews After State Dept. Picks Calibri Over Times New Roman:

In a cable sent Tuesday and obtained by The Washington Post, Secretary of State Antony Blinken directed the department to use a larger sans-serif font in high-level internal documents, and gave the department’s domestic and overseas offices until Feb. 6 to “adopt Calibri as the standard font for all requested papers.”

The Times (New Roman) are a-Changin,” read the subject line.

January 21, 2023 in Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, January 20, 2023

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)

Monday, January 23: Jonathan H. Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Subjective Costs of Taxation as part of the Florida Marshall M. Criser Distinguished Faculty Workshop. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here

Tuesday, January 24: Shayak Sarkar (UC-Davis; Google Scholar) will present Capital Migration as part of the UC-San Francisco Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Manoj Viswanathan.

Tuesday, January 24: Amanda Parsons (Colorado; Google Scholar) will present The Shifting Economic Allegiance Of Capital Gains as part of the Columbia Davis Polk & Wardwell Tax Policy Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact David Schizer.

Wednesday, January 25: Susie Morse (Texas; Google Scholar) will present Out of Time: APA Challenges to Old Tax Guidance and the Six-Year Default Limitations Period as part of the Northwestern Advanced Topics in Taxation Colloquium. If you would like to attend, please contact Gregg Polsky

Thursday, January 26: Jan Brueckner (UC-Irvine; Google Scholar) will present Taxes and Telework: The Impacts of State Income Taxes in a Work-from-Home Economy (with David R. Agrawal (Kentucky; Google Scholar)) as part of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy and Public Finance. If you would like to attend, please contact Kirk Stark or Jason Oh

Thursday, January 26: Ruth Mason (Virginia; Google Scholar) will present Bibb Balancing, 91 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. __ (2023) (with Michael S. Knoll (Penn)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks. No RSVP is required for this event. 

Thursday, January 26: Yariv Brauner (Florida; Google Scholar) will present Taxation of Information and the Data Revolution as part of a celebration of his academic contributions and appointment to Hugh Culverhouse Eminent Scholar Chair in Taxation. If you would like to attend, please contact Charlene Luke.

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January 20, 2023 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Bloomberg Law's Top 10 Law School Innovators

Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Law Announces Top 10 Law School Innovators:

Bloomberg InnovationBloomberg Law’s inaugural Law School Innovation Program recognizes law schools whose innovative programs are advancing new approaches to student instruction, legal technology, experiential learning, and other facets of legal education. And we are showcasing 10 innovations in particular that are leading the way. ...

Innovators hailing from more than 60 schools in more than 25 states applied to the program. ... Applications were evaluated by a select team of practicing attorneys, legal technology and legal operations professionals, in-house counsel, recent law school graduates, and Bloomberg Law experts who have worked with and alongside law firms, businesses, and academic institutions.

The Top 10

The panel’s evaluations yielded a list of 10 finalists, based on the criteria of innovation, impact on students, ability to advance the legal industry, and replicability. They are:

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January 20, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, January 19, 2023

NY Times Op-Ed: What If Diversity Trainings Are Doing More Harm Than Good?

New York Times Op-Ed:  What if Diversity Trainings Are Doing More Harm Than Good?, by Jesse Singal:

Diversity trainings have been around for decades, long before the country’s latest round of racial reckoning. But after George Floyd’s murder — as companies faced pressure to demonstrate a commitment to racial justice — interest in the diversity, equity and inclusion (D.E.I.) industry exploded. The American market reached an estimated $3.4 billion in 2020.

D.E.I. trainings are designed to help organizations become more welcoming to members of traditionally marginalized groups. Advocates make bold promises: Diversity workshops can foster better intergroup relations, improve the retention of minority employees, close recruitment gaps and so on. The only problem? There’s little evidence that many of these initiatives work. And the specific type of diversity training that is currently in vogue — mandatory trainings that blame dominant groups for D.E.I. problems — may well have a net-negative effect on the outcomes managers claim to care about.

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January 19, 2023 in Legal Education | Permalink

Texas Tech Law School Informs U.S. News Of 'Substantial' Misstatement Of Its Student Loan Data The Past Three Years

Texas Tech Law School informed U.S. News today that it submitted incorrect data on the average debt of its graduates for each of the past three years:

Texas Tech LogoThe error was originated three years ago by the main campus Office for Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, which collects this data for the Law School. The Law School relies reasonably and in good faith on our campus partners in Financial Aid to collect accurate data for us for our rankings purposes. We were very surprised and disappointed to learn that we received inaccurate data from this office under its prior leadership. ...

As Dean, I take full responsibility for the Law School’s failure to uncover the Office of Student Financial Aid’s reporting errors and ensure a correction before the Law School in turn reported incorrect data to US News. In particular, I should have implemented a more extensive and systematic set of review procedures for this area, which would have uncovered the error, and placed less reliance on the Office of Student Financial Aid’s review process and reports.

The misreport on this metric was substantial. The corrected debt numbers are the following: For 2019, the correct average debt number was $98,695, and the incorrect reported number was $62,583. For 2020, the correct average debt number was $86,023, and the incorrect reported number was $56,898. For 2021, last year, the correct average debt number was $85,956, and the incorrect reported number was $60,088. While these numbers were misreported to US News, they were never directly marketed to applicants by the Law School. We also remain a lower debt law school, and our corrected debt number for 2021 is still well below the national average for debt and a lower number than all but one of the other law schools in this state reporting average debt to US News.

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January 19, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

With Maryland, USF, And South Texas, 28 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings

Maryland Carey Law Remains Focused on True Excellence:

Maryland (2016)After a great deal of thoughtful discussion with a wide variety of stakeholders, Maryland Carey Law has made the decision not to provide U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) with proprietary data about the institution in connection with USNWR’s Best Law Schools rankings, scheduled to be published this spring. As one of the oldest and most innovative law schools in the country, Maryland Carey Law has long provided students with the highest quality legal education -- one that trains them to become talented, ethical lawyers who care about justice. We will continue to do this work in the months and years to come.

We applaud USNWR’s willingness to reevaluate its flawed rankings methodology. In light of the company’s decision to rank all law schools on publicly available data only, Maryland Carey Law does not see the need to voluntarily provide additional institutional data for USNWR to sell. We look forward to working in good faith with USNWR in the years to come to arrive at a rankings methodology that more accurately reflects the wide range of values embraced by individual law schools, including fulfilling the aspirations and needs of the diverse range of students we all attract and educate. In the meantime, Maryland Carey Law will remain focused upon the excellence of its faculty, staff, and students, and upon its valued partnerships with the university, the city, the state, and beyond.

USF Law Will No Longer Provide Data to U.S. News:

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January 19, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Muller Models And Projects Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings

Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), Modeling and Projecting USNWR Law School Rankings Under New Methodologies:

First, the criteria. USNWR disclosed that it would no longer use privately-collected data and instead rely exclusively on publicly-available data, with the exception of its reputational survey data. (You can see what Dean Paul Caron has aggregated on the topic for more.) It’s not clear whether USNWR will rely on public data other than the ABA data. It’s also not clear whether it will introduce new metrics. It’s given some indications that it will reduce the weight of the reputational survey data, and it will increase the weight of output metrics. ...

Muller Models

One last step was to offer a potential high-low range among the rankings. For each of the five models, I gave each school a rank one step up and one step down, to suggest some degree of uncertainty in how USNWR calculates, for instance, the 10-month employment positions, or diploma privilege admission for bar passage, among other things. That gave me 15 potential rankings—a low, projected, and high among each of the five models. I took the lowest of the low and the highest of the high for a projected range. With high degrees of uncertainty, this range is an important caveat.

Below are my projections.

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January 18, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Barry Seeks To Hire An Entry Level Or Lateral Tax Prof

Barry Law Faculty Posting:

Barry university school of lawBarry University School of Law is seeking to fill one or more full-time, tenure-track faculty positions beginning in the Fall 2023 semester. Areas of particular interest include Legal Research and Writing (LRW), Constitutional Law, Florida Civil Practice, Florida Constitutional Law, Tax, and Wills, Trusts, & Estates. Candidates with a focus in other doctrinal areas may also be considered.

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January 18, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

Law School Rankings Revolt Spreads To Medical Schools: #1 Harvard Will Not Send Data To U.S. News

Harvard Medical School, HMS Withdraws From U.S. News & World Report Rankings:

Harvard Medical School LogoFollowing careful consideration and consultation with colleagues and stakeholders across Harvard Medical School and beyond, I write today to announce that HMS will no longer submit data to U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) to support their “best medical schools” survey and rankings. ...

I have contemplated this decision since becoming dean six years ago. The courageous and bold moves by my respected colleague Dean John Manning of Harvard Law School and those of peer law schools compelled me to act on behalf of Harvard Medical School. What matters most to me as dean, alumnus, and faculty member is not a #1 ranking, but the quality and richness of the educational experience we provide at Harvard Medical School that encourages personal growth and lifelong learning.

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January 18, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Roger Williams Is 25th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings

Roger Williams University School of Law Withdraws from US News Rankings:

Roger Williams 3Dear Roger Williams University School of Law Family,

After careful consideration and consultation with key constituents, Roger Williams University School of Law has made the decision not to participate in the US News and World Report ranking process this year. Other law school deans have spoken eloquently about flaws in the formula currently used by US News for its law school rankings, and I share their concerns. While academic rankings can provide consumers with important information, US News’ current formula and announced changes continue to devalue key parts of what we believe make for great law schools.

RWU Law has always been driven by a social justice mission, and we care deeply about the people and communities we serve. We have been an access school for first-generation students, and we are proud to improve the lives of our students and the communities we serve, including the legal profession. We celebrate our public interest and pro bono culture. In contrast, the current US News ranking formula incentivizes law schools to make key decisions—on budgetary matters, student admissions, academic programs, public service, and more—that undermine these core values and are not always in the best interests of students.

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January 18, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Legal Ed News Roundup

2023 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

TannenwaldThe Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2023 Tannenwald Writing Competition Announcement

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate.  Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

Prizes: 

  • 1st Place: $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,500

Deadline: July 10, 2023

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January 17, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Organ: The Declining 2022 Law School Transfer Market

This blog posting updates my blog postings over the last several years regarding what we know about the transfer market, for example 2021 and 2020. With the ABA’s posting of the 2022 Standard 509 Reports, we now have several years of more detailed transfer data from which to glean insights about the transfer market among law schools.

Numbers of Transfers and Percentage of Transfers Continue to Decline to the Lowest Levels in the Last Decade

As shown in Table 1 below, the number of transfer students received by law schools in 2022 decreased to 1231, the smallest number of transfers in the last decade.  For the last several years, the transfer market has been shrinking, having declined from 5.5% in 2014, to 4.7% in 2016, to 4.0% in 2018, and now 3.0% in 2022.  Aside from a slight bump in 2017, and another bump in 2020, this drop reflects a continuation of a gradual decline in transfers over the last several years — from more than 2100 to less than 1300 (down nearly 40%) and from 5.5% of first-years in the previous fall to 3.0% (down nearly 50%).

Table 1 — Number of Transfers and Percentage of Transfers from 2014-2022

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Number of Transfers

2187

1979

1749

1797

1494

1294

1612

1375

1231

Previous Year First Year Enrollment

39,800

38,000

37,100

37,100

37,300

38400

38500

38200

41700

%   of Previous First-Year Total

5.5%

5.2%

4.7%

4.8%

4.0%

3.4%

4.2%

3.6%

3.0%

After an increase in transfers in 2020, we have seen declines in 2021 to 1375 and 3.6% and 2022 to 1231 and 3.0% — the lowest number and percentage in a decade. This may partly be attributable to the larger enrollment among first-years in fall 2021, which enabled some law schools both to grow the size of their first-year class while simultaneously increasing their median LSAT.  With this larger group of first-year students in fall 2021, some schools may have dialed back their transfer classes a little bit in the summer of 2022 due to limited capacity. 

SOME LAW SCHOOLS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE THE TRANSFER MARKET

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January 17, 2023 in Jerry Organ, Law School, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Resources For Authors Submitting Law Review Articles In The Spring 2023 Cycle

Submissions

1. Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2022 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of the top flagship law reviews at US law schools. ...

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

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

2. Nancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC), Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals (Revised Jan. 13, 2022):

This document contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited review, and how to contact them to withdraw an article from consideration. It covers 195 law reviews.

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January 17, 2023 in Law Review Rankings, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog MLK Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, January 16, 2023

NY Times Op-Ed: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last Sunday Sermon 'Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution'

New York Times Op-Ed:  The Kind of Revolution That Martin Luther King Jr. Envisioned, by Esau McCaulley (Wheaton):

In 1968, four days before he was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last Sunday sermon at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It was entitled, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” and although King doesn’t say the word “woke,” he uses the concept as it was understood by many Black folks then, well before the term was co-opted by the political right to refer to any left-leaning policy that it wanted to condemn.

The sermon is an opportunity to encounter the real King, who is too often obfuscated by politicians who use his legacy to support their own agendas. They contend that King was “colorblind,” when in fact his policy aims were unapologetically color-conscious.

King opened his sermon by recalling the well-known story of Rip Van Winkle, the character in the Washington Irving book of the same name who slept for 20 years. King notes that when Rip went to sleep, King George III reigned, and when he awoke, George Washington had become president. Rip Van Winkle had slept through the revolution.

King believed that too many Americans, especially those in its churches, were also snoozing through a time ripe for transformation. They needed to wake up to the injustice all around them and make demands for change.

What kind of revolution did he envision?

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January 16, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: If Affirmative Action Ends, College Admissions May Be Changed Forever

New York Times, If Affirmative Action Ends, College Admissions May Be Changed Forever:

In cases against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the Supreme Court is widely expected to overturn or roll back affirmative action in college admissions. Many education experts say that such a decision could not only lead to changes in who is admitted, but also jeopardize long-established strategies that colleges have used to build diverse classes, including programs that are intended to reach specific racial and ethnic groups for scholarships, honors programs and recruitment.

Those rollbacks could then help spur colleges to end other admissions practices that critics say have historically benefited the well-heeled. Some schools have already ended their standardized test requirements and preferences for children of alumni. There is also pressure to end early decision, which admits applicants before the general deadline.

The cases against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, first filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions, an anti-affirmative action group, argued that the universities discriminated against white and Asian applicants by giving preferences to Black, Hispanic and Native American students. The universities said they use race-conscious admissions because diversity is critical for learning, a claim that drew skepticism from the court’s conservative supermajority during the October hearing.

Recent polls suggest that most people believe colleges should not consider race or ethnicity in admissions decisions.

Inside Higher Ed, Poll Finds the Public Doesn’t Favor Affirmative Action:

A new Pew Research Center report found that 74 percent think race and ethnicity should not be considered in admissions decisions. For gender, 82 percent think it shouldn’t be considered.

Pew

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January 16, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Sunday, January 15, 2023

David French: The Law Is Protecting Religious Liberty, But Christians Are Not Securing Integrity In Their Institutions

David French (The Dispatch), How A Progressive Judge Helped Preserve American Pluralism:

French (2023)The law is doing its part. Are Christians doing theirs?

[P]reserving and rebuilding American civic associations is one of the most urgent tasks in American political and cultural life. As a matter of law, it is vital to respect the autonomy and independence of America’s private associations. As a matter of culture, it is critical that members of those groups preserve the organizations’ health, integrity, and vitality.

If either side fails in its obligation—if the government intrudes upon liberty or if associations fail to conduct themselves with integrity—then the system becomes unstable. Human beings are built for community, and if we’re denied that community (or if our communities become dysfunctional), then we’ll fail to thrive. It’s that simple. And it should be a central organizing principle of conservatism to conserve both the freedom and the health of our associations as a necessary precondition to human flourishing.

And that brings me to the Eugene case. In 2021, a coalition of dozens of students brought a lawsuit against the Department of Education challenging the religious exemption in Title IX, the federal statute that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs. Title IX contains a narrow exemption for “an educational institution which is controlled by a religious organization if the application of this subsection would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”

The plaintiffs were concerned with the way in which Christian education institutions applied their religious traditions to sexual morality. Many Christian schools uphold and advance a traditional Christian sexual ethic, which limits sex to marriage and defines marriage as the union of a man and woman. The plaintiffs argued that the religious carve-out, which permits religious schools to maintain their faith-based policies and seek federal funding on an equal footing with secular schools, violated the Constitution. ...

The moment the case was filed, it became fuel for the culture war fire.

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January 15, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Christian Law School To Start Hiring Jewish Faculty

Inside Higher Education, Sea Change or Small Step Toward Interreligious Inclusion?:

Belmont 2Belmont University, a private Christian institution in Nashville, Tenn., plans to break a long-standing tradition of only hiring Christian instructors by opening some faculty positions to Jewish candidates.

University leaders recently announced they’re specifically recruiting Jewish faculty members to teach in three of its graduate programs, hopefully as early as this spring. The Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate also plan to consider a similar decision at the undergraduate level later this year.

The announcement, made at a Faculty Senate meeting in November, was met with a range of reactions. Campus administrators and some members of the local Jewish community celebrated the shift as a step toward greater interreligious inclusion, aligned with recent Jewish-Christian interfaith efforts at Belmont. Some scholars, in and outside the institution, believe the change moves the university too far from its Christian roots, while others say the policy isn’t inclusive enough, embracing one faith community to the exclusion of others. ...

The university plans to recruit Jewish faculty members to teach in the university’s law school, pharmacy school and new medical school, scheduled to open in 2024. The accreditors for both the law school and the medical school prohibit the university from requiring faculty members be Christian but do allow the university to state a preference for applicants of specific faiths in their job ads.

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January 15, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

L.A. Times: Pastor|Professor Bridges Faith|Psychology

Los Angeles Times, Pastor Thema Bryant Bridges Faith and Psychology:

Bryant 3The men’s choir had just brought down the house with the gospel classic “Miracle Worker” when Thema Bryant danced up to the lectern at First AME Church in South L.A.

Rising to the full height of her slim, 5-foot-7 frame, the 49-year-old ordained minister and psychologist smiled wide at the congregation before launching into her sermon — part preacherly rapture, part group therapy.

She was wearing purple, she said, in honor of it being the last Sunday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She praised God for the survivors in the house and for those who grew up witnessing domestic violence and were committed to breaking the cycle. Then she made the unusual move of thanking the Almighty for the former offenders in the pews — keyword “former” — who were making a different choice because, as she reminded the congregation, domestic violence is a choice. ...

The room had fallen silent when she began, but by the time she finished, the organ was pounding out invisible exclamation marks and the church rang with applause.

It was a tricky maneuver, this straddling of psychology and religion at a Sunday morning service at a venerable Black church. But Bryant, who lectures nationally and internationally on diversity, multiculturalism and trauma, is equally at home in both worlds.

Since Freud first cast religion as a collective neurosis in the early 1900s, religion and psychology have historically eyed each other with suspicion, if not outright antagonism. Some psychologists argued that religious belief was a way of avoiding reality, while some religious leaders questioned the need for psychology when a person could turn to God.

Bryant’s many admirers within academia, the psychology field and the Black church say that she often serves as a bridge between them. Perhaps this explains why more than 332,000 people follow her inspirational musings on Instagram. ...

This month Bryant became president of the American Psychological Assn., the nation’s largest organization of psychologists, with more than 130,000 members. She is only the fourth Black woman and the second minister to assume the presidency in the organization’s 130-year history. The last time a minister led the group was in 1893.

Her historic election is emblematic of a growing openness among psychologists to engage with faith and spirituality, said Kenneth Pargament, professor emeritus of psychology at Bowling Green State University. “There’s an acknowledgment that there are aspects of being human that are not well captured by psychology — things like meaning and forgiveness, hope and humility,” he said.

Bryant sees people of many faiths — and no faith — in her private practice and says spirituality comes up only when it’s relevant for her clients. She never tries to convert anyone. Still, her official bio identifies her as both psychologist and Christian minister.

“I resist the idea that to be professional means you have to be a blank slate,” she recently told a graduate class at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory. “I hope you will bring all of yourself into the space, because what is healing is authenticity.” ...

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January 15, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, January 14, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. Inside Higher Ed, What Is Behind Growing Faculty Dissatisfaction?
  2. Reuters, Trump-Appointed Judge In Yale Clerk Boycott Condemns 'Cancel Culture' At Harvard Event
  3. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard
  4. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), U.S. News Provides Additional Information On Forthcoming Law School Rankings
  5. Reuters, Using ChatGPT To Write Law School Exams, Bar Exams, And Strategic Plans
  6. Derek Muller (Iowa), Winners And Losers In The Elimination Of At-Graduation Employment In The U.S. News Law School Rankings
  7. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), In Response To Boycott, U.S. News Dramatically Changes Law School Rankings Methodology. Who Are The Winners And Losers? Will Harvard Be #1?
  8. Jessica Findley (Arizona) et al., JD-Next: A Valid and Reliable Tool to Predict Diverse Students’ Success in Law School
  9. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), With UC-SF, St. John's, And Idaho: 23 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings
  10. Alexa Chew & Rachel Gurvich (North Carolina), Saying The Quiet Parts Out Loud: Teaching Students How Law School Works

Tax:

  1. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 2023 Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index All (Google Scholar)
  2. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 2023 Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index Since 2018 (Google Scholar)
  3. Wall Street Journal, Why So Many Accountants Are Quitting
  4. Call For Papers, Cambridge Tax Policy Conference On Tax, Public Finance And The Rule of Law
  5. The Tax Lawyer, Vol. 76, No. 1 (Fall 2022)
  6. Ann Thomas (New York Law School), The Racial Wealth Gap And The Tax Benefits Of Homeownership
  7. Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Four New Tax Papers On SSRN
  8. SSRN, The 10 Most Downloaded Tax Articles Of 2022
  9. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  10. Mirit Eyal-Cohen (Alabama), Review of Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) & Nir Fishbien (Caplin & Drysdale, New York), What Would Surrey Say? The Long Reach of Stanley S. Surrey

Faith

  1. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, How Damar Hamlin Drove A Nation to Pray

January 14, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

Summary Of Changes To The Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings

Following up on yesterday's post, U.S. News Provides Additional Information On Forthcoming Law School Rankings:  I thought it might be helpful to share this table summarizing the current state of what we know about the changes to the U.S. News Law School Rankings to be released this spring:

U.S. News Law School Rankings

Spring 2022 Spring 2023
Categories Weight Weight
     
Quality Assessment  40% ?
Peer Assessment 25% ?
Lawyers & Judges Assessment 15% ?
     
Student Selectivity 21% ?
Median LSAT 11.25% ?
Median Undergraduate GPA 8.75% ?
Acceptance Rate 1% ?
     
Student Outcomes 26% ?
Bar Passage 3% ?
Employed at Graduation 4% 0%
Employed 10 Months After Graduation 14% ?
Graduates With Student Loans 2% 0%
Average Debt of Graduates With Loans 3% 0%
     
Resources 13% ?
Average Expenditure Per Student 9% 0%
Average Financial Aid Per Student 1% 0%
Student/Faculty Ratio 2% ?
Librarian/Student Ratio 1% 0%

For more, see:

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January 14, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Fordham Is 24th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings

Fordham Law News, U.S. News & World Report Participation: A Message from Dean Matthew Diller:

Fordham Law Logo (2023)Dear Members of the Fordham Law Community,

I am writing to you about Fordham Law’s participation in the U.S. News & World Report ranking. Fordham Law will no longer provide data about our law school to U.S. News for use in its ranking other than information that is already generally available to the public, which we would provide to anyone. Let me explain my thinking.

Each year, I am proud of the work of our faculty and administrators in teaching and supporting our students and in awe of the accomplishments of our alumni and the support they provide to our law school. Yet each year I know that whether our achievements will be reflected in our U.S. News ranking is a roll of the dice. Bizarre components of the algorithm and the tight clustering of schools means that schools can shoot up or drop down in the ranking based on imperceptible differences in data points. The algorithm has included components of dubious relevance to educational quality while omitting important criteria. U.S. News has recently announced adjustments to its algorithm, but its methodology remains deeply flawed.

More fundamentally, the project of creating a unitary ranking of the nation’s 200 law schools that functions like sports standings sows more misunderstanding than clarity for prospective law students. This is not a problem that can be fixed by tinkering with the formula. U.S. News’ ranking does not answer questions which are key to enabling a prospective student to determine which law schools are the best matches given their career goals and where they want to live and work. It also does not address whether a law school has programs and faculty expertise in a prospective student’s areas of interest or whether a law school has an alumni network that is supportive of students and provides connections and relationships over the course of a career. The U.S. News ranking will not reveal whether the culture and atmosphere at a school is a good fit given a prospective student’s values.

Moreover, U.S. News’ ranking does not capture much of what we prize most about Fordham Law—the strength and warmth of our community, the excellence of our faculty, our commitment to service, the richness of our many academic programs, the professional values and outlook that we nurture, the leadership of our alumni in the legal profession, and the ways a Fordham Law degree provides value over the arc of our graduates’ careers.

Providing information to U.S. News that is not otherwise publicly available contributes to the fallacy that U.S. News’ ranking is valuable because it is grounded on more information than is available to prospective students directly. The reality is that Fordham Law already publicly provides a plethora of information about the education we provide, including the profile of entering classes, the employment outcomes for students, the strength of our superb faculty and the breadth of our academic offerings and co-curricular activities. Our website also contains information about our alumni community and the Fordham Law network in the legal profession. Moreover, online resources are readily available that enable prospective students to compare schools, including Law School Transparency and the LSAC Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools.

While U.S. News’ ranking is deeply flawed, much of the pernicious effect of the rankings stems from the attention that the ranking too often has received within legal academia and in the legal profession. Rankings and ratings are part of our culture and will not disappear. The U.S. News ranking will not go away. Rather than treating the U.S. News rankings as the scorecard for law schools, we need to take it as one curious data point about law schools among many—a data point that reflects U.S. News’ problematic values and judgments which are baked into its algorithm. In short, we all need to collectively lower the stakes around the U.S. News ranking. If we can achieve this goal, prospective students will make better choices and law schools will better serve the profession. 

Law.com, Fordham Law Becomes 24th School to Withdraw from U.S. News Rankings

US News (2023)

  U.S. News Rank
Boycott (25)
Yale 1
Stanford 2
Columbia 4
Harvard 4
Penn 6
NYU 7
Virginia 8
UC-Berkeley 9
Michigan 10
Duke 11
Northwestern 13
Georgetown 14
UCLA 15
Fordham 37
UC-Davis 37
UC-Irvine 37
U Wash 49
UC-San Francisco 51
St. John’s 84
New Hampshire 105
Idaho 142
Cal-Western 147-192
Campbell 147-192
Roger Williams 147-192
Southwestern 147-192
No Boycott (5)
Chicago 3
Cornell 12
Wash U 16
Georgia 29
George Mason 30

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January 14, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, January 13, 2023

U.S. News Provides Additional Information On Forthcoming Law School Rankings

UpdateSummary Of Changes To The Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings

Following up on his January 2 letter to law school deans, U.S. News Chief Data Strategist Bob Morse sent a follow-up letter this morning to law school deans (reprinted below with permission). In addition, a U.S. News spokesperson gave an interview this morning to Law.com (excerpted below). Among the highlights:

  • US News (2023)Six of the 14 metrics in last year's methodology will not be included in this year's rankings
  • The six excluded categories were weighted 20% in last year's rankings
  • U.S. News would not say whether it will shift from 1-year bar passage data to ultimate 2-year bar passage data 
  • U.S. News claimed that the dramatic changes to the methodology were not a "direct result of law schools withdrawing from the process" but rather “reflect the direction that we were moving toward”
  • U.S. News encouraged law schools to complete its informational survey even though only publicly available data will be used in the rankings
  • U.S. News has not decided whether it will include peer evaluations (which are a major component of the overall rankings and are the sole basis for the 13 specialty rankings) submitted from law schools that do not supply data to U.S. News 

Dear Law School Deans,

We are pleased to have met so many of you in person at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting and appreciated the opportunity to continue the dialogue after Zooming with scores of you just a few weeks ago. We left with a few observations that we would like to share, along with further details on our plans for the 2023-2024 rankings that will be published this spring.

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January 13, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

51% Of Young Professionals Need Help For Mental Health Problems

Mary Christie Institute, The Mental Health and Well Being of Young Professionals:

Mental Health 51The prevalence of mental health issues among college students is well documented (Auerbach et al, 2018, National College Health Assessment, American College Health Association, 2021), yet less is known about this same population group as they graduate and begin their careers. The Mary Christie Institute, in partnership with the Healthy Minds Network, the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a survey of graduates between the ages of 22 and 28 seeking to better understand the mental and emotional health of early career professionals. We believe understanding more about the emotional and mental wellbeing of the “Gen Z” workforce can serve to create a bridge between higher education and industry in this regard and may help to address the mental health problems that are defining this generation.

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January 13, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Tax Prof Elaine Gagliardi Is Dean Finalist At Montana Law School

Following up on my previous posts:

Daily Montanan, University of Montana Names Law School Dean Finalists, Internal Candidates:

Three internal and one external candidate are finalists for dean of the law school at the University of Montana.

The three internal finalists are:

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January 12, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

The 10 Most Downloaded Tax Articles Of 2022

  1. ss3,350 Downloads: Michael Devereux (Oxford), John Vella (Oxford) & Heydon Wardell-Burrus (Oxford), Pillar 2: Rule Order, Incentives, and Tax Competition
  2. 3,163 Downloads: Lily Batchelder (NYU) & David Kamin (NYU), Taxing the Rich — Issues and Options
  3. 2,808 Downloads: Farok Contractor (Rutgers), Tax Avoidance by Multinational Companies: Methods, Policies, and Ethics
  4. 2,778 Downloads: Edward McCaffery (USC), The Death of the Income Tax (or, the Rise of America's Universal Wage Tax)
  5. 2,401 Downloads: Hugh Ault (Boston College), Some Reflections on the OECD and the Sources of International Tax Principles
  6. 2,380 Downloads: Rita de la Feria (Leeds) & Michael Walpole (University of New South Wales), The Impact of Public Perceptions on General Consumption Taxes
  7. 1,915 Downloads: John Paul (CUNY-Brooklyn), Exploring Virtual Currencies: How Do You Tax the Clones in the Clouds?
  8. 1,857 Downloads: Dov Fischer (CUNY-Brooklyn), Michael Kraten (Houston Christian) & John Paul (CUNY-Brooklyn), For The Public Benefit: Why Purpose-Driven Companies Should Adopt, Pursue and Disclose Locally Supportive Tax Strategies
  9. 1,855 Downloads: John Paul (CUNY-Brooklyn), Global Tax Governance or National Tax Discrimination: The Case of the EU vs. Apple
  10. 1,854 Downloads: John Paul (CUNY-Brooklyn), Democracies in Danger: The High Cost of Global Tax Liberalization

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January 12, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

New York Law School Symposium: Race, Bias, And Advocacy

Symposium, Race, Bias, and Advocacy, 66 N.Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 121-413 (2021-2022):

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January 12, 2023 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink