Paul L. Caron
Dean


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Slow Going On Faculty Diversity

Inside Higher Ed, Slow Going on Faculty Diversity:

Despite more universities placing an emphasis on attempting to diversify their faculty ranks, a new study shows very little progress, particularly at research universities. And much of the success in faculty diversity has been in untenured positions.

According to the study, which was published by the Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy from the South Texas College of Law, Houston, colleges in recent years have not seen substantial growth in racial diversity among faculty members.

Diversity

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July 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

CALI Law School and Bar Exam Study Skills Fellowship

CALI

CALI Announces the Formation of the Law School and Bar Exam Study Skills Fellowship:

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) announces the formation of the Law School and Bar Exam Study Skills Fellowship. The Fellowship is comprised of members of the academic success community from U.S. law schools. The goal of the Fellowship is to author CALI lessons to develop students’ critical-thinking skills. The materials will be peer-reviewed by the fellowship team and the CALI Editorial Board. Everyone at CALI member law schools will have access to these materials when they are published in late 2019.

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July 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools' Lost Opportunity To Transition From 3-Year Degree Stopovers To Lifetime Learning Hubs

Forbes:  Law Schools' Lost Opportunity, by Mark A. Cohen (CEO, LegalMosaic; Fellow, Northwestern Center for Practice Engagement and Innovation):

Law schools have ceded an opportunity to shore up their balance sheets and to do right by grads, the legal industry, and the broader society. How? They have failed to transition from three-year degree stopovers to learning centers for life that upskill grads and other professionals throughout their careers. This would have created “stickiness” with alumni/ae throughout their professional lives and transformed law schools into  lifetime learning hubs. In the digital age where competency, micro-credentialing, collaboration, upskilling, people-skills, and agile learning are critical, law schools are relics of the legal guild. Why? 

There are a legion of explanations: complacency, detachment from the University—notably the business, engineering, computer science, and mathematics schools-- as well as the broader legal ecosystem and business community, faculty composition/hiring criteria, the American Bar Association’s ineffective law school accreditation oversight, and absence of accountability and performance metrics—especially student outcomes, and self-regulation. Law schools are an island that has become increasingly detached from the broader legal mainland.

The inertia of law schools, like law firms, went unchallenged for decades. Their applicant pool was plentiful, the job market was robust, the curricula were unchanged and unchallenged, and they were cash positive. That rosy picture fueled the growth and proliferation of law schools from the 1980’s until the global financial crisis of 2008. The confluence of that economic maelstrom and its aftermath coincided with rapid advances in technology, the ever- escalating cost of law school and its three-year hitch, a downturn in the legal job market, and disaggregation of a growing number of “legal” tasks. This resulted in the migration of young talent away from law and into other professional service and business careers.

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July 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, July 15, 2019

UC-Davis Mandates Reference Checks In Faculty Hiring

Inside Higher Ed, UC-Davis Adopts Reference Check Policy To Stem Faculty Misconduct:

UC Davis University Logo (2018)Last year, the University of Wisconsin System very publicly launched a new policy against "passing the harasser" on to unwitting institutions: It said it would disclose substantiated misconduct findings when contacted for employee reference checks. The system also put checks in place to guard against being passed someone else's harassers.

Around the same time, the University of California, Davis, more quietly established its own pilot policy on faculty reference checks. Experts say this kind of policy is still extremely rare in academe — but that that will soon change.

A year into its pilot, Davis officials are ready to talk about it. Provost Philip Kass, who recently testified about the policy during a Congressional hearing on harassment in the sciences, said Wednesday that he and colleagues sought ways to prevent and otherwise address issues of sexual misconduct on campus. And they started thinking about how it's "possible for faculty to move between universities without the incoming university knowing about substantiated findings and discipline for any reason at a prior university." ...

The policy centers more on advance warning than disclosure. Job ads say that Davis will conduct reference checks into misconduct. Applicants for tenured and continuing lecturer positions must consent to having a reference check. Those who don't consent don't move forward as candidates.

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

Journal Prestige And Journal Impact In Law

Ignacio Cofone (McGill) & Pierre-Jean G. Malé (Harvard), Journal Prestige and Journal Impact in Law:

While much has been said about the curiosity of the American law review submissions system, something even more curious has been overlooked: American legal scholars ignore the impact-factor of journals, and choose in which journal to publish based on publishing school’s ranking. To investigate whether ranking translates into impact, we collect and analyze historical data from American law journal’s impact-factor and the ranking of their publishing law schools. We first show that there is a correlation between prestige ranking and impact-factor over the years. However, the correlation is not perfect and it varies substantially over time. Second, journal impact-factor shows a larger inter-annual variation than school ranking. This means that impact-factor is a worse predictor of future journal impact than school ranking is of future school prestige. Third, we show that journals published by better law schools have higher inter-annual variation in impact-factor but lower variation in impact-factor based ranking. This result is surprising. We hypothesize that journals from high-ranked schools belong to a less homogeneous pool: few journals make most of the impact due to an exposure bias. We then move to consider authors’ utility from publishing in one journal or another. The optimal strategy for authors will depend on whether they prefer to maximize their prestige among their peers or their impact on the discipline, and how risk averse they are. Conditional on desiring impact, risk-averse scholars should look at school ranking and risk-neutral scholars should look at impact-factor.

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July 15, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Law Profs Weigh In: What Is The Appropriate Response When A White Student Wears A MAGA Hat In Class?

Following up on my previous post, What Should A Black Law Professor Do When A White Student Wears A MAGA Hat In Class?:

MAGAJacob H. Rooksby (Dean, Gonzaga), Statement:

The School of Law diligently works to provide a respectful and inclusive environment that welcomes all students, faculty, and staff. We respect the points of view of all members of our community. This situation presents an opportunity for our community to listen to and learn from each other.

Howard Wasserman (Florida International), MAGA in the Classroom:

This complaint from Jeffey Omari (Gonazaga) about a student wearing a MAGA hat in his classroom is absurd, as Jonathan Turley (GW) shows.  ...

[I]f, under the rules of the school and the professor, student can wear a baseball hat with any political message in this classroom, in what way did this student fail to meet his "professional expectations"? Other than by wearing a hat with a message the prof does not like. ... Arguably, in fact, Omari, not the student, disrupted the class when he took the time from the substantive discussion to comment on the student's sartorial choices. ...

Frankly, I think the dean, who presumably knows something about law, has a bigger problem: One of his faculty members took to a national publication and called a student--unnamed but readily identifiable within a small institution (Gonzaga has about 350 students)--unprofessional, insensitive, disrespectful, and racist. For engaging in constitutionally protected speech supporting the sitting President. ...

[Omari] presumably will be hitting the meat market for a permanent teaching job in the next few years—this could make him toxic.

Jonathan Turley (George Washington), Law Professor: MAGA Hat “Undeniable Symbol Of White Supremacy”:

[Professor Omari's op-ed] demonstrates the increasingly shrill environment faced by conservative students. Omari took to the pages of the Journal to recount his almost breathless encounter with a student wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat. Most of us are used to students wearing political hats and teeshirts.  I am always happy to see students with such clothing because it shows that they are engaged and passionate regardless of their views. For Omari, the incident was chilling since he declares the MAGA hats worn by many conservatives to be per se racist symbols. Omari insisted that anyone wearing the hats are advancing “racial antagonism” since they are an “undeniable symbol of white supremacy.” ...

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July 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Lawyers Serving Gods, Visible And Invisible

Jonathan R. Cohen (Florida), Lawyers Serving Gods, Visible and Invisible, 53 Gonz. L. Rev. 187 (2017):

Abstract. A critique of the American legal profession can be framed through the metaphor of idolatry, specifically the proclivity of lawyers to serve visible rather than invisible interests in their work. This proclivity has ramifications ranging from broad matters like lawyers' responses to deeply embedded social injustices to specific matters such as the excessive focus on pecuniary interests in ordinary legal representation and the high level of dissatisfaction that many lawyers experience in their careers. Using as a lens biblical teaching concerning idolatry, this article begins by describing "visible" as opposed to "invisible" interests in the context of legal practice. It then argues that lawyers, clients, and ultimately society could benefit from lawyers paying greater attention to invisible interests.

Introduction. Religious ideas can sometimes offer a distinctive lens or vantage point for gazing upon ordinary life. For example, seeing a person as created "in God's image" may lead one to ask a different set of questions (e.g., is that person being treated with dignity?) and assert a different set of values (e.g., that human life is precious) than one might ask or assert without that religious metaphor. One need not, of course, invoke religious language to discuss subjects like human dignity and worth, but religious teachings can lend insights into them. Here I suggest that another fundamental religious teaching, namely the biblical prohibition against idolatry, provides a useful lens for critiquing the American legal profession. Akin to worshiping a visible rather than invisible God, many lawyers have a proclivity to focus on visible rather than invisible interests in their work. This proclivity has ramifications ranging from the "small" issue of low job satisfaction among lawyers, to the broader issue of the tendency of many lawyers to focus excessively on their clients' pecuniary rather than nonpecuniary interests, to the even broader issue of the failure of many lawyers to undertake the prophetic work of confronting deeply embedded social injustices.

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July 14, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

The Real Story Behind Alabama’s Return Of $26m Gift To Law School Donor

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Martin Morse Wooster (Capital Research Center), The Real Story Behind Alabama’s Return of $26m Gift to Law School Donor:

Alabama Logo (2019) (Crossed Out)What can donors and colleges learn from the Culverhouse episode?

First, the issue of abortion is a smokescreen that played no role in the arguments Culverhouse had with the University of Alabama.

Second, the hiring and firing of faculty is a bright line that no donor can cross. Donors should realize that they can have no say in hiring professors.

Third, Culverhouse should have realized that just because he put up a lot of money for an endowed chair that the money could not buy talent. Maybe the big name constitutional law professors were happy where they were. It’s also plausible that the finalists for the chair were the most qualified ones willing to move.

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July 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Stanford Law Faculty Summer Reading List

Death Of Jeff Sherman (Chicago-Kent)

ShermanIn Memoriam: Professor Jeffrey G. Sherman:

The Chicago-Kent College of Law community mourns the death of Professor of Law Emeritus Jeffrey G. Sherman, a one-of-a-kind professor who served as an institutional conscience to the law school for 32 years. He passed away recently at the age of 72.

“Jeff Sherman was a gifted teacher, a fabulous colleague and a zealous defender of the integrity of the English language,” says Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent.

Sherman joined the Chicago-Kent faculty as an associate professor in fall 1978. Over the years, he taught the courses in Estates and Trusts, Gift and Estate Tax, and Employee Benefits Law. Prior to joining the law school, he was an assistant professor of law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1976 to 1978. He also was a visiting professor at Harvard in 1993 and 1995 and also visited at University of California Los Angeles in 1990, the University of Miami in 1987, the University of Illinois in 1983, and the University of Arizona in 1981.

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July 13, 2019 in Legal Education, News, Obituaries, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

California Supreme Court Fails Bar Examinees

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  California Supreme Court Fails Bar Examinees, by Mitchel L. Winick (President & Dean, Monterey College of Law):

WinickIt is July, and that means another bar exam is looming large for recent law school graduates. In California, it also brings our attention back to the ongoing effort to have the California Supreme Court adjust the bar exam minimum passing score from the arbitrary and unvalidated 1440 cut score that is currently in place to the national mean score of 1350. As Dean of Monterey College of Law, a California accredited law school, I understand that there are those who shrug off this issue as mere whining of California law school deans about low pass rates. However, I would like to offer some facts that better frame the importance of this issue to the profession.

First let me say that recently released bar data provides the best response for the second most common question that I get . . . "why am I arguing for dumbing down the bar exam?" I'll let the data speak for itself . . .

February 2019 - MBE Scores – First time takers
1340      National mean score
1371      California mean score
1374      Monterey College of Law mean score

The results . . . California examinees outscored the nation . . . and our Monterey College of Law examinees outscored California.  

Despite these high-performance scoring results, because California uses an artificially inflated minimum passing score of 1440, the California first-time pass rate in February 2019 was 41% and the MCL first-time pass rate was 40% (the 1% statistical difference is due to MCL’s small cohort). In comparison, based on a national mean passing score of 1350, the national first-time passing rate was over 60%. 

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

Thursday, July 11, 2019

College Student Rented $150 Textbook For $63; Amazon Charged Her Father $3,800 When She Was Four Days Late Returning It

Philadelphia Inquirer, College Student Was Late Returning a Textbook to Amazon, So the Company Took $3,800 From Her Dad:

Amazon logo (2018)Amazon tells customers that renting textbooks instead of buying them can save up to 80 percent off the purchase price: “Get your textbooks delivered to your door and save both time and money."

What Amelia SanFilippo, a thrifty college freshman, wasn’t expecting was that the Seattle-based online retailer would withdraw nearly $4,000 from her father’s checking account because she was a few days late returning the book. ...

In February, SanFilippo, 19, a cognitive science major, used her father’s debit card to rent Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age for the spring semester at the University of Delaware. Cost $62.70.

The book was due back June 24. She had asked her father, Anthony, to mail it for her. But it slipped his mind while he was packing for a week-long trip. On June 28, she received an email from Amazon with the subject line: “Your Amazon.com rental has been purchased.” ...

Cost: $3,800.60 — more than 30 times the price of the textbook. ...

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July 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

NY Times: Harvard Suspends Star Economist After Sexual Harassment Claims

New York Times, Harvard Suspends Roland Fryer, Star Economist, After Sexual Harassment Claims:

FryerRoland G. Fryer, a onetime rising star in economics who has been accused by several women of sexual harassment, will lose his Harvard University research lab and be suspended for two years, the university said Wednesday.

Harvard’s actions represent a remarkable fall from grace for an economist who until recently was among the profession’s most admired researchers — and one of Harvard’s highest-paid faculty members. He is also one of the most prominent African-Americans in a field that has long struggled with racial diversity.

Mr. Fryer, 42, has been the subject of several concurrent university investigations, which concluded that he had engaged in “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” against at least five employees over the course of a decade.

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July 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Are Undergraduate Law Degrees The Next Big Thing?

Arizona Logo (2019)Law.com, Are Undergraduate Law Degrees The Next Big Thing?:

At the end of June, the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School announced its plans to launch an undergraduate degree in law, taught by the law faculty. It will become just the second such program in the United States. ...

This got me thinking about the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, which became the first to offer an undergraduate law degree in the U.S. in 2014. The goal of the program is to expand access to legal education and help prepare students for law-adjacent careers, as well as allow them to explore whether they want to pursue a full law degree—the same reasons officials at Buffalo have said they are launching a B.A. in law. So are undergraduate law programs the wave of the future?

In order to better understand the potential of such programs, I reached out to Arizona law dean Marc Miller to find out how his five-year-old B.A. in Law is going. ... Here’s what he said: “The B.A. in Law program is a jewel. It has succeeded on every dimension we hoped, including being a dramatic pathway for diversity, broadly understood.” ...

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July 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hillsdale College Sues University Of Missouri Over $5 Million Donation

MLive, Hillsdale College Sues Over $5 Million Gift to University of Missouri:

HMHillsdale College is suing the University of Missouri, claiming an endowment gift from a deceased MU alum is not being spent according to his wishes.

Hillsdale claims it is entitled to the $5 million endowment gift left in the will of Sherlock Hibbs in 2002 that directed Missouri’s Board of Curators to divide the funds into six separate funds named by Hibbs.

In the lawsuit filed in 2017, Hillsdale claims the university found the terms of the gift “distasteful” and was concerned MU and its Business School were being “held hostage by a particular ideology,” ultimately disputing that his gift resulted in a trust, according to the lawsuit.

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July 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

When White Scholars Pick White Scholars: Diversity, Inclusion, And Merit

Inside Higher Ed, When White Scholars Pick White Scholars:

IHEAll but one of the National Communication Association’s 70 distinguished scholars are white. Most if not all members of the organization agree that’s a problem. But the association’s new plan for selecting its distinguished scholars — in which a special committee, not the existing group of scholars, chooses new honorees — has proven controversial. And one of the association’s distinguished scholars in particular just fanned the flames with an editorial that critics say pits merit against diversity.

“The change is being pursued under the banner of ‘diversity,’ which is, of course a god-term of our age, and rightly so,” Martin J. Medhurst, distinguished professor of rhetoric and communication and professor of political science at Baylor University, and editor of Rhetoric and Public Affairs, wrote recently therein about the association’s procedural shift. “But there is a difference in trying to promote diversity within a scholarly consensus about intellectual merit and prioritizing diversity in place of intellectual merit.”

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July 10, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Lecture Capture Reduces Attendance, But Students Value It

Inside Higher Ed, Lecture Capture Reduces Attendance, but Students Value It:

One of the biggest studies of its kind to date has concluded that although the introduction of lecture capture does lead to reduced class attendance, academics must accept that students see it as a valuable part of the learning experience.

Video recording of teaching is now common on most Western campuses, but it remains a contentious issue for some academics, who have raised concerns about issues ranging from intellectual property rights to the use of footage to undermine industrial action, as well as the impact on students’ attendance. ...

[N]ew research conducted at the University of Leeds draws on data across a whole institution following the installation of lecture-capture technology and finds that the availability of video footage does cause a drop in attendance.

The paper [Lecture Recordings to Support Learning: A Contested Space Between Students and Teachers], published in Computers & Education, says that although attendance at lectures that were not recorded was 85.7 percent, this dropped to 81 percent when videos were available.

In a survey of instructors, 53.6 percent of respondents agreed that lecture capture encouraged poor attendance.

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July 10, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Krieger: The Hidden Stresses Of Law School And Law Practice

Lawrence S. Krieger (Florida State) has updated his wonderful booklet, The Hidden Stresses of Law School and Law Practice (2018) (table of contents) (ordering information) (thoughts about timing and use):

KriegerIt is time for the summer announcement of the student assistance booklets (now updated) that I’ve been doing for several years. Some of you may want to provide them to incoming or present classes at your school. Please note: We will be away from July 15-30, so if you need these little books for early August, please let me know. ... If you have questions, just email me directly, lkrieger@law.fsu.edu. If you wish to order, have any questions, or wish to view the entire contents before ordering, just email me directly.

Why This Book?

In the past few years there have been powerful scientific findings about lawyers and law students. They are so recent that few lawyers, students, or even law teachers are aware of them. These findings show clearly what makes us happy, and what happens in law school and then law practice that can undermine that happiness. This book explains this science and the largely hidden stresses of law school and law practice – how we first encounter them in school, why they continue to impact lawyers long after graduation, and why it doesn’t have to be that way. It offers practical, direct approaches to preserve and improve your well-being, based on these findings and decades of teaching, litigating, and working with law students and lawyers. The closing sections extend this knowledge specifically to career and job choices.

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July 10, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Over Past Three Years, Seven Law Schools Have Tried To Be Acquired By Universities

ABA Journal, Urge to Merge: Difficult Times for Law Schools Have Prompted Several to Attempt to be Acquired by Other Schools:

Law school enrollment has decreased significantly since the Great Recession, as have many law schools’ reputations. Fewer graduates are passing the bar, and for the past two years, less than 70% of new lawyers were hired for full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage after graduation—jobs that, at one point, had been the minimum expectation for newly minted JDs.

In the past three years, seven law schools announced plans to partner, gift or sell themselves to universities—all but begging the question: Why would anyone want them?

The answer comes down to net tuition revenue, which matters more than academic reputation, says Ken Redd, the senior director of research and policy analysis at the National Association of College and University Business Officers. According to him, a private institution with net tuition that grows 3% or more annually is generally seen as desirable.

“It’s about trying to make as much money as possible for healthy institutions. If there was some scandal that made the news, you might see some hesitation. But if it’s just something garden variety, like ABA probation, [universities] do not care about that,” Redd says.

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July 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Women Score Higher Than Men In 17 Of 19 Leadership Skills

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills, by Jack Zenger (CEO, Zenger/Folkman) & Joseph Folkman (President, Zenger/Folkman):

In two articles from 2012 (Are Women Better Leaders than Men? and Gender Shouldn’t Matter, But Apparently It Still Does) we discussed findings from our analysis of 360-degree reviews that women in leadership positions were perceived as being every bit as effective as men. In fact, while the differences were not huge, women scored at a statistically significantly higher level than men on the vast majority of leadership competencies we measured.

We recently updated that research, again looking at our database of 360-degree reviews in which we ask individuals to rate each leaders’ effectiveness overall and to judge how strong they are on specific competencies, and had similar findings: that women in leadership positions are perceived just as — if not more — competent as their male counterparts. ...

Women are perceived by their managers — particularly their male managers — to be slightly more effective than men at every hierarchical level and in virtually every functional area of the organization. That includes the traditional male bastions of IT, operations, and legal.

As you can see in the chart below, women were rated as excelling in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practicing self-development, driving for results, and displaying high integrity and honesty. In fact, they were thought to be more effective in 84% of the competencies that we most frequently measure. According to our updated data, men were rated as being better on two capabilities —”develops strategic perspective” and “technical or professional expertise,” which were the same capabilities where they earned higher ratings in our original research as well. ...

Women Men Leadership

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July 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

What Happens When Women Run Colleges?

Presidents

Chronicle of Higher Education, What Happens When Women Run Colleges?:

Democratic, communal, inclusive. That may be the future of college leadership.

Although academe has a progressive reputation and in the past couple of decades has seen more women assume leadership roles, they’re still in the clear minority at the top. Only 30 percent of all college presidents are women, a figure that is bolstered by the portion who are at two-year institutions, where female leaders make up 36 percent, according to the American Council on Education. Recent surveys show women are better represented in the C-suite than in the presidency, but still make up fewer than half the chief academic officers and an even lower proportion of deans.

Aside from the question of parity, does it matter? Some female presidents and senior administrators contacted for this story dismiss the suggestion that they do their jobs any differently, or say that differences between any two leaders are simply matters of individual style. “I’m not so sure it’s about gender as much as it is the culture of the institution and the fit between the values and approach of an individual with that institution,” says Susan D. Stuebner, president of Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.

But studies suggest that, while the differences are typically subtle and, of course, not universal, women do tend to have leadership styles with some common characteristics.

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July 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

How Much Do Coaches (And Deans) Matter?

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  How Much Do Coaches Matter?, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

BCAIIn 1979, Bill Campbell quit his job as head coach of Columbia University’s chronically dreadful football team. He moved to California to work for Apple and eventually became chief executive of Intuit.

The decision that made Mr. Campbell a Silicon Valley legend, however, involved a return to his roots. When he died in 2016, he was, according to a new biography, “the greatest executive coach the world has ever seen.”

Mr. Campbell, who shunned publicity, compiled a stunning roster of mentees that included Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Facebook ’s Sheryl Sandberg. The book, Trillion Dollar Coach, was written by a trio of former pupils, including Google’s one-time CEO, Eric Schmidt.

To the authors, there’s no question Mr. Campbell deserves enormous credit for the success of the companies he worked with. “A trillion dollars understates the value he created,” they wrote. Without his “integral” guidance at Google, they argue, “the company would not be where it is today.”

After finishing this book, I met up in New York with another author who knows a thing or two about coaches: Andre Iguodala.

The 35-year-old Mr. Iguodala has played for four different NBA teams. As the primary captain of the Golden State Warriors, he’s made five straight trips to the NBA Finals since 2014, won three championships and set the league record for wins in a single season. Last Sunday, the Warriors, now in rebuilding mode, traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, which would be team No. 5.

In his 15 seasons, Mr. Iguodala has earned a reputation as one of the NBA’s most thoughtful and outspoken players, and in his new memoir, The Sixth Man, he offers candid reviews of the coaches he’s played for. While Golden State’s Steve Kerr earns high marks, others don’t fare so well. ...

In [Mr. Iguodala's] view, a team’s ability to win depends less on the coach’s modus operandi than how well the players organize themselves around it—or in some cases, in opposition to it. ...

These two books present vastly different takes on coaching. Mr. Campbell’s acolytes seemed to crave his input and follow his advice with minimal skepticism. To Mr. Iguodala, every coach basically dumps out a different box of Legos and forces the team to build something.

They can’t both be right—or can they?

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July 9, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Unbearable Pointlessness Of PowerPoint

Chronicle of Higher Education:  The Unbearable Pointlessness of PowerPoint, by Alan Wolfe (Boston College):

PowerPoint 1PowerPoint is everywhere in the contemporary university. And so long as it is, superficiality will eclipse idiosyncratic and original thought.

In the academy, PowerPoint originated with the natural sciences. Then it spread to those social sciences such as psychology and economics that deal with large amounts of data or rely on complex mathematical modeling. It is neither my intention nor my inclination to judge its appropriateness for such fields, although it is worth mentioning that the renegade political scientist Edward Tufte finds them highly problematic even for the sciences. Tufte shows how reliance on PowerPoint, especially its condensation of information into categories ranked in importance, as well as its proclivity to reduce information to fit conveniently onto a slide, led scientists at NASA to misjudge the danger faced by the damaged space shuttle on its return to earth.

A reliance on PowerPoint in the humanities and soft social sciences is another matter. From the way graduate students are taught to the way they themselves eventually teach, PowerPoint has become the essential means of academic communication, and a much less vibrant academic culture is the inevitable result.

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Could The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Be Retroactively Curtailed?

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU), Could the Benefits of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Be Retroactively Curtailed?, 51 Conn. L. Rev. 1 (2019):

There is a sharp tension between the expectations that hundreds of thousands to millions of persons have or will have regarding their right to have their federal student loan debts forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) program and the legitimate public concerns regarding the large costs and regressive incidence of the PSLF program’s benefits. In 2017, the Trump Administration proposed abolishing the PSLF program for future federal Direct Loans, but this proposal was not adopted. A similar proposal was made in 2019 as part of the Administration’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal, with little chance of adoption. But given the large costs of the program, which I estimate will eventually rise to $12 billion per year or more as an estimated 200,000 people per year who currently have outstanding federal Direct Loans will eventually seek debt forgiveness, and given the regressively skewed incidence of its benefits in favor of relatively affluent mid-career doctors and lawyers, I think that there will be further legislative curtailment efforts made in 2020 or later by the Trump Administration or by members of Congress, this time perhaps a more aggressive proposal for retroactive elimination of the program, or at least a push for a tax law amendment to include this forgiven debt as taxable income as is now done for debts forgiven under the other federal income-based loan forgiveness plans.

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

What Should A Black Law Professor Do When A White Student Wears A MAGA Hat In Class?

ABA Journal:  Seeing Red: A Professor Coexists With 'MAGA' in the Classroom, by Jeffrey Omari (Gonzaga):

Omari 2It was just a few minutes before the start of class, and I was standing at the podium prepping my notes when, through my peripheral vision, I could see a speck of red on the student’s head as he entered the classroom. ... As the student walked to his usual seat in the seminar, which was directly in my line of vision, the message on his flaming red hat was unmistakable: “MAGA,” or “Make American Great Again.”

I was in the first year of a two-year fellowship as a visiting assistant professor of law. Moreover, as an African-American male, I was one of an exceedingly small number of students, faculty and staff of color in the law school. From my (progressive) perspective as a black man living in the increasingly polarized political climate that is America, MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain nonwhite groups. ...

I was unsure whether the student was directing a hateful message toward me or if he merely lacked decorum and was oblivious to how his hat might be interpreted by his black law professor. I presumed it was the former. As the student sat there directly in front of me, his shiny red MAGA hat was like a siren spewing derogatory racial obscenities at me for the duration of the one hour and fifteen-minute class. ...

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (59)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Buffalo Law Student Dies From Suicide, Family Establishes Mental Health Fund For Athletes

Benedict

Law.com, Buffalo Law Student Dies From Suicide, Family Establishes Mental Health Fund:

Matthew Benedict, a law student at the University of Buffalo School of Law and a summer associate at local law firm, died Monday from suicide injuries, his family said. 

Benedict, 26, on Monday jumped to his death from Buffalo’s Liberty Building, where he was a summer associate at midsize firm Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham.

Since his death, his family has established a fundMatthew Benedict’s One Last Goal, to seek donations for raising awareness of mental health issues.

His mother, Anne Benedict, said Matthew had been struggling with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, for about five years, since he suffered a concussion from playing football in Middlebury College, where he was a captain of the Vermont college’s football team. Anne said he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and his depression was the result of the injuries.

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July 7, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Suit Stipend Project Helps First Gen Pepperdine Law Students Dress For Success

First Gen Initiatives Suit Stipend Project Success:

First GenThe Pepperdine Law’s First Gen Initiatives is pleased to announce the success of its inaugural Suit Stipend Project. Pepperdine Law pledged five $200 stipends for rising second-year and third-year students who found it a challenge to purchase suits for their professional interviews. When First Gen Initiatives received eight applications for the five stipends, private donors stepped forward to cover the additional three stipends so that each student who applied was able to receive a stipend.

The Suit Stipend Project was part of the newly created First Gen Initiatives program, which Pepperdine Law plans to continue into the future. First Gen Initiatives thanks the Pepperdine Law community for recognizing the importance of this project and rising to meet the needs of our students.  We appreciate you!

 

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

Saturday, July 6, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Malcolm Gladwell, Yale Dean Heather Gerken, And The Dialectic Tension Within Legal Education

Andrea Curcio (Georgia State), Dean Gerken’s Vision Versus Malcolm Gladwell’s Experience:

When we decide who is smart enough to be a lawyer, we use a stopwatch. Malcolm Gladwell

Law school should be a time to luxuriate in ideas, to test their principles, and to think critically about the law and the profession. Dean Heather Gerken

MGHGOn the same day I listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating podcast about the LSAT and test-taking speed, I also read Yale Dean Heather Gerken’s insightful Commentary, Resisting the Theory/Practice Divide: Why the “Theory School” Is Ambitious About Practice [132 Harv. L. Rev. F. 134 (2019).] Both are wonderful. Together, they shine light on a dialectic tension within legal education.

Dean Gerken’s article inspires us to think about legal education in its biggest and broadest sense. She posits that, “At its best, a J.D. is a thinking degree, a problem-solving degree, a leadership degree” and she notes that for students, “law school should be a time to luxuriate in ideas, to test their principles, and to think critically about the law and the profession.” She envisions law school as a place where students engage in deep critical thinking about the law and the profession — both in the classroom and in clinics, and she discusses the interdependent relationship between the deep learning that should occur in both. ...

Contrast Dean Gerken’s understanding of legal education with Gladwell’s podcast about his experience taking the LSAT.  In it, he posits: “when we decide who is smart enough to be a lawyer, we use a stopwatch.”   He notes that who gets into law school, and what law school they get into, rests largely on LSAT score differences — differences that may depend in part upon one’s ability to answer questions quickly rather than thoughtfully. ...

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July 6, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

NY Times Op-Ed: Law Prof Picks Her Job Over Her Kids

New York Times op-ed:  I’ve Picked My Job Over My Kids, by Lara Bazelon (San Francisco) (personal website):

I am a lawyer, a law professor and a writer. I am also a divorced mother of two young children. I’m often asked some version of: “How do you excel at work and be the best mother you can be?”

Every working mother gets this question, which presupposes that a “work-life balance” is achievable. It’s not. The term traps women in an endless cycle of shame and self-recrimination.

Like many women, I often prioritize my job. I do this because, as the head of a single-parent household, I’m the sole breadwinner. My ex-husband, who has joint custody, is an amazing father and my life would be impossible without him. Neither of us pays the other support.

My choice is more than a financial imperative. I prioritize my work because I’m ambitious and because I believe it’s important. If I didn’t write and teach and litigate, a part of me would feel empty.

[T]here is always another client to defend, story to write or struggling student who just can’t wait. Here are things I have missed: my daughter’s seventh birthday, my son’s 10th birthday party, two family vacations, three Halloweens, every school camping trip. I have never chaperoned, coached or organized a school event.

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July 6, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The 4th Of July At Pepperdine

Pepperdine University | Human Resources

The 4th of July: Faith and Freedom
As we approach the 4th of July, I invite you to reflect on our Independence Day holiday through the lens of Pepperdine – and our commitment to faith and freedom. 

For Christians, our deepest identity lies not in country, but in Christ. We may pledge allegiance to the United States of America, but our true allegiance is to the One who created us. We are legally citizens of the United States, “[b]ut our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:13-14). We are sons and daughters of God, not sons and daughters of Uncle Sam. 

As Americans, we will pause on Thursday to remember with gratitude our forebears who declared the nation's independence from a despotic King and shed their blood in a fight for freedom. As Christians, we pause each day to remember our dependence on the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) who shed His blood for our freedom in Him. Although America is not our eternal home, we remain ever grateful to those who came before and left us a country that safeguards everyone's freedom to practice his or her individual faith.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13

Paul Caron
Dean, School of Law

Forward:  To Understand America — Read The Bible, by Michael Helfand (Pepperdine):

What role should the bible play in American politics? This question remains at the center of debates over hot-button social issues—such as abortion and same-sex marriage—where traditional and progressive values continue to clash. As these debates persist, how should American Jews leverage their unique values and texts to develop their own responses to these pressing social and political challenges?

Somewhat counter-intuitively, this is the foundational question raised by a new edited sourcebook, Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States. ... [T]he anthology collects important historical texts in which religious and political leaders incorporated the values, messages and narratives of the bible into their vision of American liberty, community and politics. That this sourcebook bears on contemporary political deliberation may seem odd given that the collected texts themselves date primarily from the 17th through the mid-19th century. Yet in highlighting how generations of prominent American historical figures placed the bible front and center when they spoke and wrote, this anthology invariably asks the reader to evaluate the role of Jewish text and values within the context of political debate and deliberation. ...

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July 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Kosher Fourth Of July

ProclaimWall Street Journal:  A Kosher Fourth of July, by William McGurn:

Two hundred forty-three years ago, a new nation was inspired by the Old Testament.

Since that fateful July 4 when the Second Continental Congress invoked the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to declare independence from King George III, an argument has raged over the Christian roots of the American Founding. Now a group of scholars suggest that if we are looking only to the Gospels to understand the new American nation, we may be arguing over the wrong testament.

“The American Republic,” they write, “was born to the music of the Hebrew Bible.”

The book is called Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook. The title comes from Leviticus and is inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The book comes courtesy of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, where it was pulled together by Meir Soloveichik, Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver and Stuart Halpern.

These men are not arguing that America was founded as a Jewish nation. Nor is their subject Jews in America, or the role of Jews in the American Founding. Their proposition is more supple and profound: that at key moments in the national story, Americans have looked to the ancient Israelites to understand themselves, their blessings and their challenges.

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July 4, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Anatomy Of Tenure And Academic Survival In Legal Education

Stephen J. Leacock (Barry), Tenure Matters: The Anatomy of Tenure and Academic Survival in Legal Education, 45 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 115 (2019):

This article is a modest journey into the universe of tenure in order to discover the components of its value to educational institutions and their faculty, and to effectively appraise this value. Very briefly, the article discusses the history and nature of tenure and then addresses factors implicated in its attainment and loss including litigation by applicants who were unsuccessful in the quest to acquire it in the first place. The criteria applied by educational institutions' evaluators in deciding whether to grant tenure, as well as matters pertinent to its retention, loss and legal measures attendant on these events are also discussed, analyzed and evaluated. After the introduction in Part I, Part II explores the origins of tenure, and Part III discusses the nature of tenure. Part IV analyzes its legal prerequisites and Part V discusses the procedures for earning an award of tenure as well as the concept of de facto tenure. Part VI concentrates on tenure's benefits to faculty members and Part VII acknowledges criticisms of tenure. Part VIII examines certain bases for termination of tenure.  Part IX is the conclusion. ...

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July 4, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Overhyped Rise Of Robot Lawyers

Milan Markovic (Texas A&M), Rise of the Robot Lawyers?, 61 Ariz. L. Rev. 325 (2019):

Robot Lawyer 2The advent of artificial intelligence has provoked considerable speculation about the future of the American workforce, including highly educated professionals such as lawyers and doctors. Although most commentators are alarmed by the prospect of intelligent machines displacing millions of workers, not so with respect to the legal sector. Media accounts and some legal scholars envision a future where intelligent machines perform the bulk of legal work, and legal services are less expensive and more accessible. This future is purportedly near at hand as lawyers struggle to compete with technologically-savvy alternative legal service providers.

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

Solitude, Leadership, Lawyers, And Law Professors

Amul Thapar (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) & Samuel Rudman (Choate, Hall & Stewart, Boston), Solitude, Leadership, and Lawyers, 117 Mich. L. Rev. 1277 (2019) (reviewing Michael Erwin (Character & Leadership Center) & Raymond Kethledge (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude (2017)): 

Lead Yourself FirstLead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude bears all the hallmarks of a well-crafted legal argument. That makes good sense, because it was coauthored by a great lawyer. Lawyers, however, do not play a large role in the book. We were curious to know whether the book’s core argument—that solitude is indispensable to leadership—applies to law.

To do so, we test the book’s argument on its own terms. The book develops its argument in two ways: by reviewing historical examples and by interviewing contemporary leaders from all walks of life. Following the book’s lead, we apply its hypothesis to a historical example with which we are familiar, and we discuss solitude with modern-day lawyers. We conclude that the book’s lessons about solitude and leadership apply just as squarely to lawyers as they do to other leaders. ...

[W]e came to this subject with a healthy dose of skepticism. Perhaps because we are both extroverts who enjoy team settings, we would not have expected solitude to play such an important role in leadership. Add our names to the ranks of the converted. By the end of the book, we were persuaded, and we expect others will be too: one of the historical examples or interviews will call to mind how the reader does his or her best thinking, and we are willing to bet that important parts of it are done alone.

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July 3, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wendi Adelson Gives Defense Deposition In Dan Markel Murder Case

WCTV.TV, Dan Markel's Ex-Wife Now Answering Questions in Hotly Contested Deposition:

Adelson (2019)Wendi Adelson is scheduled to answer questions at a deposition Tuesday morning in Miami.

Adelson is the ex-wife of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel. Markel was shot and killed as he pulled into his driveway in July 2014 in what prosecutors contend was a murder for hire plot motivated by a custody battle over the couple's two children.

Neither Adelson, nor any of her family members, have been charged in the case. Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua are slated to stand trial for Markel's murder in September.

Adelson's attorneys had tried to block defense attorneys from questioning her in advance of the upcoming trial, saying she planned to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, but an appeals court ruling paved the way for this deposition.

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July 3, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Bend It Like Beckham Bank

Bend it like Bank:

BankSteven Bank is one of the most respected American authorities on the subject of soccer and the law. The Paul Hastings Professor of Business Law at UCLA School of Law, Bank focuses much of his writing and teaching on the law and history of taxation, corporate governance and executive compensation. But he also kicks out scholarly essays on legal issues involving soccer’s governing bodies, including FIFA — the international soccer federation sponsoring the 2019 Women’s World Cup. He teaches classes on soccer and the law, both at UCLA Law and as part of UCLA’s undergraduate Fiat Lux seminar series, and is a prolific writer and tweeter on soccer, soccer law and international sports law. When not at work, Bank, who is also the law school’s vice dean for curricular and academic affairs, is often on the soccer pitch, playing pick-up ball, coaching local youth teams, supporting his four children as they play, and serving as a referee or administrator for youth leagues and club teams.

What makes soccer a compelling subject for your scholarship?

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July 3, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

NY Times: Superhuman — Email For The 1%

Superhuman 2

New York Times, Would You Pay $30 a Month to Check Your Email?:

The year is 2019, and the brainy engineers of Silicon Valley are hunkered down, working on transformative, next-generation technologies like self-driving cars, digital currencies and quantum computing.

Meanwhile, the buzziest start-up in San Francisco is … an expensive email app?

A few months ago, I started hearing about something called Superhuman. It’s an invitation-only service that costs $30 a month and promises “the fastest email experience ever made.” Marc Andreessen, the influential venture capitalist, reportedly swore by it, as did tech bigwigs like Patrick and John Collison, the founders of Stripe. The app was rumored to have a waiting list of more than 100,000 people.

“We have the who’s who of Silicon Valley at this point,” Superhuman’s founder, Rahul Vohra, told me in an interview. The waiting list is actually 180,000 people long, he said, and some people are getting desperate. He showed me a photo of a gluten-free cake sent to Superhuman’s office by a person who was hoping to score an invitation. ... Last month, Superhuman raised a $33 million investment round, led by Mr. Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz. That valued the company at roughly $260 million — a steep valuation for an app with fewer than 15,000 customers, but one apparently justified by the company’s trajectory and its support among fans, which borders on evangelical.

“Superhuman is the future of work,” said David Ulevitch, the Andreessen Horowitz partner who led the firm’s investment. “Once I started using Superhuman, I couldn’t conceive of relying on anything else.”

When I first heard about Superhuman, I was skeptical. Didn’t Google already solve email? How could any start-up get away with charging a premium for something that was already available free? I suspected that it might be a Veblen good, a term economists use for luxury products that primarily function as status symbols for the rich.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Is The First Law School To Join VetLink; 20 1L Vets Are Expected This Fall

VetLinkLaw.com, Harvard Law Welcomes Vets:

Harvard Law School has become the first law school to join VetLink, a group of top colleges and graduate programs actively seeking to increase their veteran enrollment. VetLink is an initiative of Service to School—a nonprofit that aims to help veterans get into those schools by offering free application counseling and peer guidance to veterans. (It was co-founded by Anna Ivey, a former admissions dean at the University of Chicago Law School.) Until recently, VetLink focused on undergraduate programs. But the George Washington University School of Political Management and Harvard Law are now the first two graduate programs to join the initiative.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Roman Catholic Sues Three Law Schools, LSDAS For Religious Discrimination In Favor Of Jewish Applicants

The GW Hatchet, Woman Sues Law School Alleging Religious Discrimination:

A woman is suing the University, two other law schools and the Law School Data Assembly Service for alleged religious discrimination during the law school admissions process.

In a four-page complaint filed in an Oregon district court, Susan Marcos-Chavela claims that the LSDAS, which standardizes law school admissions data, and three universities discriminated against her as a “Roman Catholic female” when she was applying for law school. Marcos-Chavela is asking for $10 million in total from Seattle University Law School, Washburn University Law School, the GW Law School and LSDAS for discrimination, according to the complaint.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, July 1, 2019

Building A Culture Of Assessment In Law Schools

Larry Cunningham (St. John's), Building a Culture of Assessment in Law Schools, 69 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 395 (2018):

A new era of legal education is upon us: Law schools are now required to assess learning outcomes across their degrees and programs, not just in individual courses. Programmatic assessment is new to legal education, but it has existed in higher education for decades. To be successful, assessment requires cooperation and buy-in from faculty. Yet establishing a culture of assessment in other disciplines has not been easy, and there is no reason to believe that it will be any different in legal education. A survey of provosts identified faculty buy-in as the single biggest challenge towards implementing assessment efforts. This article surveys the literature on culture of assessment, including conceptual papers and quantitative and qualitative studies. It then draws ten themes from the literature about how to build a culture of assessment:

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July 1, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reimagining Legal Education: Why Shouldn’t Law Schools Be Run As Trade Schools?

City Journal: Reimagining Legal Education: Why Shouldn’t Law Schools Be Run As Trade Schools?, by Mark Pulliam (Law & Liberty; Retired Partner, Latham & Watkins):

The prevailing way of training lawyers—three years of postgraduate study, using Socratic techniques and the case method—has a relatively recent pedigree. Well into the nineteenth century, most American lawyers learned their craft as Abraham Lincoln did, studying the law as de facto apprentices under the tutelage of practicing lawyers. Remnants of this tradition survived into the twentieth century. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who also served as solicitor general, attorney general, and chief American prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, was one of the most accomplished lawyers of his era. But Jackson only attended law school for one year. He passed the bar in 1913 after studying under a lawyer—his uncle—in upstate New York.

Today, the legal realm would greet Jackson’s education with disdain. Elite law schools, staffed with highly paid faculty lacking any meaningful experience in the profession, equate the practical model with a trade apprenticeship—just a lengthy bar-review course. But why are bar-review courses even necessary for students who just finished a three-year course of study in the law? Isn’t learning about the practice of law the raison d’être of legal education? The open secret is that elite law schools don’t see their mission as teaching the nuts and bolts of regular legal work. Tenured faculty leave the real training to the lesser caste of clinical instructors and adjuncts, postgraduation cram courses, and on-the-job training by law firms.

Professors at the nation’s leading law schools enjoy a light teaching load, allowing plenty of time for conducting research and writing scholarly articles for student-edited law reviews. Not surprisingly, legal scholarship is largely irrelevant to the needs of legal consumers like clients and practitioners. The current model of high and rising tuition, mounting student debt loads, poor skills training, uneven (and uncertain) job placement, and an increasingly politicized professoriate thus perpetuates itself.

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July 1, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Before Notorious RBG, There Was Unstoppable FEA: Rejected By Law Schools, Florence Ellinwood Allen Became America's First Woman Prosecutor, State Supreme Court Justice, And Federal Circuit Court Judge

Cleveland Plain Dealer, Before RBG, a Cleveland Judge Made History; It’s Time to Recognize Unstoppable Florence Allen:

AllenImagine this scene: It’s August 1920 in Cleveland and women have just won the right to vote. They take to the streets, petitions in hand, some hitching up their ground-dusting skirts and scaling scaffolding to collect signatures from construction workers -- all men no doubt -- raising skyscrapers in the fifth largest city in the country.

Few candidates today could inspire the passion Florence Ellinwood Allen did nearly 100 years ago during her historic run for judge. The lawyer had gained a loyal following of fan girls while stumping for suffrage. Armed with her own soap box and fiery speeches, she crisscrossed rural Ohio and drew crowds in Cleveland’s Public Square.

But until women could legally vote, they couldn’t run for office. While her male opponents were campaigning, Allen, then the first woman assistant county prosecutor in the country, had to sit out the primaries until the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920.

By then, the election was 10 weeks away and Allen’s only hope of getting her name on the ballot was by petition. That’s when her female troops sprang into action, gathering 2,000 signatures in two days.

Allen won by a landslide.

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July 1, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

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July 1, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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July 1, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)