TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, January 24, 2019

2018 Tax Prof Teachers Of The Year

AALS Teacher of the Year 2
Tax Profs recognized at the AALS annual meeting in New Orleans as Teachers of the Year:

January 24, 2019 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge: Federal Courts Need A 'Rooney Rule' For Law Clerk Hiring

Following up on my previous posts:

National Law Journal op-ed: Why We Should Adopt a Rooney Rule for Law Clerks, by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria:

There’s debate about how successful the Rooney Rule has been. ... But the numbers seem to suggest that the rule was a good idea: Shortly after its adoption the number of minority head coaches began to rise, and it has held relatively steady since. This past season, there were eight minority head coaches, still not good, but an improvement.

When I took the bench around five years ago, I was struck by how many law clerks are white and from privileged backgrounds. This is to the detriment of the legal profession (in which people from all walks of life should have a chance to rise to the top) and the judiciary (which benefits from having people with different perspectives involved in the decision-making process). I thus adopted my own version of the Rooney Rule: I will not fill a law clerk slot until I’ve interviewed at least one minority candidate and at least one candidate from a non-“T-14” law school (since those schools tend to have more students from less-privileged backgrounds). ...

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January 24, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA To Again Consider 75% Within 2 Years Bar Passage Accreditation Standard Opposed By Diversity Advocates, Some California Law Schools

ABA Logo (2016), ABA to Reconsider Proposal to Tighten Bar Exam Pass Standards:

The second time could be the charm for pushing through a stronger bar pass standard for law schools.

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates on Monday will consider a proposal to bolster the existing rule, requiring at least 75 percent of a school’s graduates to pass the bar within two years of leaving campus or risk losing accreditation. The House rejected the same proposal in February 2017 amid concern from diversity advocates who said it could imperil schools with a large percentage of minority students, especially at a time when pass rates across the country have plummeted.

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January 24, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Requirement That Women Constitute 40% Of Faculty Search Committees Resulted In 38% Reduction In Female Hires

Inside Higher Ed, Male Backlash Blamed for Failure of French Effort on Hiring Female Academics:

The introduction of quotas to get more women onto university recruitment committees in France has backfired and has actually led to far fewer female academics being hired, new research has revealed.

A male backlash against the equity measures is the most likely reason for the decline in female recruitment, according to analysis by Pierre Deschamps, an economist at Sciences Po, in Paris [Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: A Boon or a Bane for Women?].

He investigated recruitment data from 455 hiring committees across three French universities in the years before and after the introduction of the requirement for recruitment committees to draw at least 40 percent of their membership from each gender.

’ modeling indicates that, had the quotas not been introduced, 38 percent more women would have been hired. “That’s enormous,” he said.


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January 23, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2018 Law School Teachers Of The Year

It was great to see four of my colleagues (Trey Childress, Steve SchultzVictoria Schwartz, and Peter Wendel) recognized at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans as 2018 Teachers of the Year:

AALS Teacher of the Year

January 23, 2019 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Should Law Schools Respond To Student Failure?

Elizabeth Ruiz Frost (Oregon), Failure Begets Failure: An Examination of Failure and How Law Schools Ought to Respond, 48 Stetson L. Rev. 33 (2018):

Students, of course, fail for many reasons. Some students fail because of an external disruption, such as a family emergency, that keeps the student from completing his coursework. For those students, perhaps the most reasonable course of action is, in fact, to simply redo the course once the external disruption has been resolved. The focus of this Article, however, is on those students who fail due to lack of academic knowledge or skill.

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January 23, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Life After Tenure

ASUArizona State is hosting a conference on Tenure! Now What? on March 30:

In the legal academy, as in other disciplines, tenure is the most important goal of aspiring and junior professors. Yet we as a profession never talk about what happens after tenure. This conference seeks to fill that void. We want to initiate a conversation about life after tenure.

We have assembled an impressive group of panelists who will discuss service, scholarship, and teaching. The conference will conclude with a workshop for participants to create a personalized plan for their career. The conference is free and all are welcome.

The conference has sparked a fascinating Twitter thread #LifeAfterTenure. Participants include:

January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Anderson: Law School GPA Is A Much Better Predictor Of Bar Passage Than LSAT Or UGPA

Following up on my previous post, Deans, Law Profs Weigh In On The California Bar Exam:  Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Analysis of the California Bar Examination Report, Part 2:

Today's installment presents one of the most interesting charts in the [California State Bar] report, one that everyone connected with legal education should understand. Figure 2.3, pictured below, shows the relationship between LSAT, undergraduate GPA (UGPA), first year law school GPA (FYGPA), cumulative law school GPA (LSGPA), and bar exam scores. The data is derived from a large number of California law graduates for 2013, 2016, and 2017. ...


The first point to note is one that is fairly well known among those who study bar performance, which is that law school GPA (whether first year or cumulative) is much more predictive of bar performance than incoming predictors like UGPA or LSAT. For example, in 2013 the correlation of FYGPA to bar score was .582 and the correlation of LSGPA to bar score was .640, compared to LSAT's .424 and UGPA's .212.

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January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

26% Of Law Students Pay Full Tuition, Down From 53% In 2011

Matt Leichter, 2017: Full-Time Law Students Paying Full Tuition *Rises* by 0.4 Percentage Points:

At the average law school not in Puerto Rico in 2017, the proportion of full-time students paying full tuition rose by 0.4 percentage points from 25.4 percent to 25.8 percent. At the median law school less than one quarter of students pay full tuition.

Leichter 1A

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January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, January 21, 2019

Spring 2019 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Spring 2019 submission season covering 202 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-52) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, regular mail, Scholastica, or Twitter)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 53-59) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

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January 21, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Cincinnati Hosts Nation’s First 1L Diversity Case Competition To Boost Law Firm Hiring Of Students Of Color

Cincinnati Logo (2019)Cincinnati Hosts Nation’s First, Only Law Student Diversity Case Competition:

When law firm hiring systems are overly dependent on grades and class rank, employers have a limited view of the diverse talent readily available.

Finding new ways to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession is one of the reasons Cincinnati Law and local law firm Keating Muething & Klekamp partnered to create the nation’s first and only Law Student Diversity Case Competition, to be held Jan. 18-19 at KMK’s Cincinnati headquarters.  

The competition, which brings the case model to the law school arena, is the brainchild of Mina Jones Jefferson, associate dean, chief of staff, and director of the Center for Professional Development at Cincinnati Law, and will bring together 14 teams from seven law schools.

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January 20, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Ex-Charlotte Law Students Get $2.7 Million Settlement, Despite Objectors

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):, Ex-Charlotte Law Students Get $2.7 Million Settlement, Despite Objectors:

A federal judge approved a $2.65 million class action settlement between the now-closed Charlotte School of Law and former students, over the objections of some plaintiffs who said that amount is far too low.

Judge Graham Mullen of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina signed off on the settlement Jan. 16 following a two-day hearing, potentially ending two years of litigation over Charlotte School of Law’s slow demise.

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January 19, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Law Students Learn Best From Professors They Love (And Who Love Them)

New York Times:  Students Learn From People They Love, by David Brooks:

A few years ago, when I was teaching at Yale, I made an announcement to my class. I said that I was going to have to cancel office hours that day because I was dealing with some personal issues and a friend was coming up to help me sort through them.

I was no more specific than that, but that evening 10 or 15 students emailed me to say they were thinking of me or praying for me. For the rest of the term the tenor of that seminar was different. We were closer. That one tiny whiff of vulnerability meant that I wasn’t aloof Professor Brooks, I was just another schmo trying to get through life.

That unplanned moment illustrated for me the connection between emotional relationships and learning. We used to have this top-down notion that reason was on a teeter-totter with emotion. If you wanted to be rational and think well, you had to suppress those primitive gremlins, the emotions. Teaching consisted of dispassionately downloading knowledge into students’ brains.

Then work by cognitive scientists like Antonio Damasio showed us that emotion is not the opposite of reason; it’s essential to reason. Emotions assign value to things. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t make good decisions.

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January 18, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wanted ASAP: Pioneering Women Law Profs For Oral History Project

AALS (2019), Wanted ASAP: Pioneering Women Law Profs for Oral History Project:

With interviews completed of more than 40 women law professors who entered the legal academy in the 1960s and after, the Women in Legal Education Oral History Project is seeking additional subjects in order to capture the voices of the first true generation of women professors.

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January 18, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why The University Of Illinois Is Insuring Itself Against A Drop In Chinese Students

Illinois 2Following up on my previous post, Wall Street Journal: U.S. Grip On Higher Education Market Is Slipping; University Of Illinois Pays $424,000 For $61 Million Lloyd’s Of London Policy To Hedge Against Decline In Chinese Students:

Crain's Chicago Business, Why U of I Is Insuring Itself—Literally—Against a Drop in Chinese Students:

Way before President Donald Trump began a trade war with China last year, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign administrators began worrying about the school's increasing financial dependence on Chinese students.

When newly appointed College of Business Dean Jeff Brown addressed faculty for the first time in September 2015, on a range of issues, he noted the risk of having so many of the college's students come from a single country outside the U.S.—namely China. What if they stopped enrolling? Afterward, a finance professor colleague, Tim Johnson, suggested they try to hedge that exposure.

"I said, 'I'd love to, but I don't think such a market exists,' " Brown recounts. With the help of another UIUC professor and former Chicago trader, Morton Lane, they found that market, and in 2017 UIUC's Gies College of Business and its College of Engineering jointly signed a $60 million insurance policy that protects the colleges against a sudden disappearance of Chinese tuition dollars.

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January 17, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

More Minority Women Ascend To Law Dean Jobs

NLJNational Law Journal, More Minority Women Ascend to Law Dean Jobs:

Rutgers Law School on Jan. 2 named Kimberly Mutcherson [left] as its new co-dean. Eight days later, the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law announced that University of Maryland law professor Renée McDonald Hutchins [right] will assume its deanship in April.

The appointment of two African-American women to law school deanships in the span of two weeks would have generated substantial attention 10 years ago. Today, it has become less of an anomaly.

The number of women leading law schools has been rising steadily, as have the number of minority deans. Perhaps nowhere has that trend been more noticeable than among the ranks of minority women law deans. At least 19 minority women are currently serving as dean or interim dean, or soon will assume deanships, according to Catherine Smith, associate dean of institutional diversity and inclusiveness at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law who has been keeping an informal tally over the past year.

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January 17, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Deans, Law Profs Weigh In On The California Bar Exam

Disruptive Leadership In Legal Education

Nicholas A. Mirkay (Hawaii) & Palma Joy Strand (Creighton), Disruptive Leadership in Legal Education:

Legal education is ripe for disruption because the legal profession and the law itself are ripe for disruption. In the last recession, demand for legal education dropped 40 percent, and only in the last year are we seeing increases in law school admissions. The recession illuminated an even bigger crisis for law and legal education—an increasing mismatch between the limited services that the law and lawyers provide and the vast and acute societal needs for legal services. A recent American Bar Association study estimated that 80 percent of the poor and those of moderate income lack meaningful access to our justice system and legal services.

Ample scholarship exists on how to restructure legal education to address this mismatch. However, this essay undertakes a new focus—the tough and potentially perilous road of attempting necessary change in a real-world law school setting. We impart our experiences as unwitting “disruptive leaders” prodding a small, private law school to meet the changing legal environment, and experiencing extreme blowback as result. We discuss characteristics of academia generally that contributed to this resistance—tenure, academic freedom, and the imperatives of university administration to raise funds and maintain tradition rather than respond innovatively to shifting economic and social dynamics. We also highlight characteristics of legal education that make disruptive leadership particularly unlikely to succeed: the ABA monopoly in legal regulation and the gendered nature of law and legal education.

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January 16, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Save The Date: Pepperdine Law School Dinner

Law School Dinner (2019) (Full)

Save the Date
46th Annual School of Law Dinner
Saturday, March 30, 2019
The Beverly Hilton
Beverly Hills, California

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January 16, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Law Schools, Standards, And The Bar Passage Rate

UNLV Logo (2016)Following up on my previous post, Nevada Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 140 to 138, Pass Rate Increases By 23%:  Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial, Law schools, Standards and the Bar-Pass Rate:

Nevada’s decision in 2017 to lower the cut score necessary to pass the state’s bar exam may have ramifications beyond higher success rates. The American Bar Association is currently considering pulling its sanction from law schools that graduate too many students who fail the test.

The new ABA accreditation standard would “require 75 percent of a given school’s test takers to pass the bar within two years of graduation,” The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The proposal will be considered this month when the association convenes for a meeting in, ironically, Las Vegas. ...

Consider UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. In July 2011, the school’s bar-pass rate was an impressive 87 percent. Five years later in 2016, the number had plummeted to 63 percent. In response, the state slightly lowered its cut score. Voila! The 2017 rate jumped to 81 percent.

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January 15, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NY Times: Female Economists Push Their Field Toward A #MeToo Reckoning

MeToo 3Following up on my previous posts:

New York Times, Female Economists Push Their Field Toward a #MeToo Reckoning:

The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines — or out of the field entirely.

Those issues took center stage at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, the largest gathering of the profession, last weekend in Atlanta. Spurred by substantiated allegations of harassment against one of the most prominent young economists in the country, top women in the field shared stories of their own struggles with discrimination. Graduate students and junior professors demanded immediate steps by the A.E.A. to help victims of harassment and discipline economists who violate the group’s newly adopted code of conduct.

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January 15, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Ray Madoff Makes Sure Money Maneuvers To The Right Pockets

Madoff (2018)Boston College: The Heights, Ray Madoff Makes Sure Money Maneuvers to the Right Pockets:

Like most interesting people in the world, Madoff’s professional journey has been a tumultuous one—marked by a transition from being a big-time corporate lawyer to a blossoming law professor to, finally, the brainy philanthropy expert she is today. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Brown University, Madoff became a tax lawyer, a career path she found predictable given her educational background.

“A friend of mine has a theory that all philosophy majors that go to law school become tax lawyers,” Madoff said.

analytical philosophy undergraduate background trained her to ask big questions—pondering the nature of goodness as a philosophy undergrad naturally led her to debate classic tax dilemmas, such as the nature of borrowing money as opposed to investing money. For nine years, Madoff exercised her analytical philosophy skills as a tax attorney before moving on to a job she was not nearly as prepared for: teaching at BC Law.

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January 15, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 14, 2019

WSJ: Do Enough Law Graduates Pass The Bar Exam?

Wall Street Journal, New Test for Law Schools: Do Enough Graduates Pass the Bar?:

WSJIf a law school can’t prepare three-quarters of its graduates who take the bar exam to pass, it shouldn’t exist.

That’s the view of the American Bar Association’s accreditation council, which is renewing a push to toughen requirements in the face of historically low passage rates for attorney-licensing exams. The ABA group retreated from an earlier attempt after detractors said it would hurt schools with larger enrollments of minority students and those in states with more difficult exams.

The proposal—to condition ABA accreditation on meeting a 75% bar-pass rate—will be back on the table this month at an ABA meeting in Las Vegas and is likely to go into effect this year.

“If a school can’t get enough of its students to have a high enough pass rate, then there’s a problem,” said Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education.

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January 14, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire A Legal Research & Writing Professor

Pepperdine (2019)Pepperdine Seeks To Hire A Legal Research & Writing Professor:

University School of Law is conducting a nationwide search seeking a Legal Research and Writing Professor. Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, have excellent academic credentials, be committed to teaching Legal Research and Writing, and support the goals and mission of the University. Applicants should have at least two to three years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing. The position comes with a market-competitive salary, employment benefits, and the title of Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing.

The School of Law is an ABA accredited, AALS member law school located in Malibu, California. Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. The School of Law welcomes applications from people of all faiths and is particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who may bring greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity to the faculty of the School of Law.

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January 14, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why I Didn’t Answer Your Email: My Inbox Will Always Be Waiting For Me, But My Children Will Not

GmailNew York Times op-ed:  Why I Didn’t Answer Your Email: Because My Inbox Will Always Be Waiting For Me, But My Children Will Not, by KJ Dell’Antonia:

I’m 47 years old. Two days ago, you sent me an email, which I did not answer. I didn’t answer it, in part, because I am 47 years old.

I appreciated your email. You are a person, who has written an email, and I am a person, who should reply to that email. However, your email arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and just as I opened it, my 16-year-old son came in. He wanted to describe to me an app he is in the process of developing. Then he showed me a funny article someone had sent him, and I showed him a funny article someone had sent me. ...

I was so inspired by this that I abandoned your email, and I applied myself to my work. I would have replied to your email ..., I am certain, except that my 11-year-old daughter came in. ...

I think that I would have answered your email if you had sent it earlier, by which I mean several years earlier, when these children were smaller and their conversation more repetitive. I would have been hidden in my office, a younger, more driven me, instead of sitting, as I often do now, in the middle of the house, an invitation to interruption. ...

I almost answered your email later, after bedtime, which is when I have often answered emails. My laptop was perched on my bedside table. My husband was perched on his side of the bed, and he leaned back and asked me if I’d given any thought to whether the chickens would need to be kept away from the apple trees after he sprayed them with something to keep the bugs away.

We moved on to the children’s math grades, then to the way they just take their socks off and leave them, inside out, no matter where they are. I looked at the clock and saw that it was not as early as I’d thought, not for a lot of things, and so we turned off the light, and I did not answer your email.

Your email sat among emails from bosses and editors and orthodontists all through the next workday. ... I thought about answering your email in the afternoon, while my older daughter and I waited outside the school for her sister to finish a piano lesson. My daughter probably would not have minded. She is almost 13, and sometimes, when she sits in the house texting while I try to talk to her, I squirt her with the bottle I keep on the counter to spray the cats when they start scratching the back of the sofa. I could have answered your email then. I admit it. We could have sat there, in peaceful silence, each staring at our phone. I had time to answer your email, and I did not.

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January 14, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Creating A Purpose-Driven Organization — Like KPMG

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization, by Robert E. Quinn (Michigan) & Anjan V. Thakor (Washington U.):

When Gerry Anderson first became the president of DTE Energy, he did not believe in the power of higher organizational purpose.

We’re not talking about having a clear mission that focuses largely on how a business will generate economic value. DTE had one that set out the goal of creating long-term gains for shareholders, and Anderson understood its importance.

A higher purpose is not about economic exchanges. It reflects something more aspirational. It explains how the people involved with an organization are making a difference, gives them a sense of meaning, and draws their support. But like many of the leaders we’ve interviewed in our research, Anderson started his tenure as president skeptical about how much it mattered. The concept of higher purpose didn’t fit into his mostly economic understanding of the firm.

But then the Great Recession of 2008 hit, and he knew he had to get his people to devote more of themselves to work. Even before the financial crisis, surveys had demonstrated that DTE employees were not very engaged. It was a classic quandary: Employees couldn’t seem to break free of old, tired behaviors. They weren’t bringing their smarts and creativity to their jobs. They weren’t performing up to their potential. Anderson knew that he needed a more committed workforce but did not know how to get one.

That was when retired army major general Joe Robles, then the CEO of USAA and a DTE board member, invited Anderson to visit some USAA call centers. Familiar with the culture of most call centers, Anderson expected to see people going through the motions. Instead he watched positive, fully engaged employees collaborate and go the extra mile for customers. When Anderson asked how this could be, Robles answered that a leader’s most important job is “to connect the people to their purpose.”

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January 13, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

California Bar Should Lower Cut Score To Benefit Students Of Color

California Bar ExamSacramento Bee, Should State Adopt Lower Passing Score for the Bar Exam? Current One May Harm Students of Color:

A continuing decline in California’s bar exam pass rate is prompting nearly all of the state’s law school deans to call for an overhaul of the exam.

They suggest the state’s minimum passing score of 144 is too high, compared to the national average of 135, and disproportionately keeps African-American and Latino law graduates from entering the profession. They also say that California graduates who perform better than average, and who would have passed the bar in any other state, are failing in California.

The criticisms, included in a letter signed by 19 of the state’s 20 ABA accredited law school deans, follows the most recent July 2018 bar exam that saw scores fall to a 67-year low. Only 40.7 percent of test takers passed the exam, roughly a 9 percent drop since July 2017. California has seen more applicants fail than pass the exam since 2013.

At a time when the legal profession is looking to build diverse teams, the deans say the cut score of 144 — second highest in the nation — is too limiting for all applicants but especially harms minority graduates.

Newly released data, collected after the July 2018 bar exam, shows that if California adopted the national average, the number of African-American law graduates passing the exam would have doubled.

Nearly 24 percent more Latino law graduates would pass the exam if California adopted the national average score.


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January 13, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

The Resilience Of Religion In American Higher Education

ResilienceInside Higher Ed Book Review, The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education (Baylor University Press 2018):

William F. Buckley Jr.'s 1951 book God and Man at Yale popularized a view of higher education as hostile to faith. A new book, however, The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education (Baylor University Press), finds faith alive and well in American higher education. The authors find that resilience evident both at public and private institutions. And they find it at religious institutions with varying ideas about their missions. ...

The authors are John Schmalzbauer, a professor of religious studies at Missouri State University and the author of People of Faith: Religious Conviction in American Journalism and Higher Education, and Kathleen A. Mahoney, a senior staff member at the GHR Foundation and author of Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America: The Jesuits and Harvard in the Age of the University. They responded via email to questions about their new book.

Q: Many evangelical colleges have been criticized for their views on sexuality (in particular ideas about gay people) and science (a belief by some that the Bible is to be taken literally, challenging ideas about evolution and so forth). Do you see those views holding back these colleges?

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January 13, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Government Shutdown Leaves Law Student Externs Scrambling

National Law Journal, Government Shutdown Leaves Law Student Externs Scrambling:

Hundreds of law students across the country who expected to extern this semester at federal agencies now find themselves in limbo amid the nearly three-week-old partial government shutdown.

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January 12, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Syracuse's Inaugural Hybrid Online JD Class Has Higher LSAT Scores Than Its Brick-And-Mortar 1L Class

Syracuse 3Following up on my previous posts:, Syracuse's New Online JD Portends Popularity of Hybrid Programs:

Syracuse University College of Law this week kicked off its hybrid Juris Doctor program in which students complete the bulk of their coursework online—only the second such program in the nation approved by the American Bar Association.

The inaugural cohort of Syracuse’s JDinteractive program comprises 32 students selected from a pool of 241 applicants. The online students were subject to the same admissions standards as applicants to Syracuse’s residential program, and in fact the LSAT scores of the first admitted online class were higher than those of the residential students, said Nina Kohn, associate dean for online education at the school.

The high interest in Syracuse’s new hybrid bodes well for other schools with plans to break into online J.D.s. (Many law schools already offer LL.M.s, Masters in Law, and certificates online, but schools have experienced more barriers to obtain accreditation of online J.D.s, because of the ABA’s 30-credit limit on distance education.) Like Syracuse, Southwestern Law School and the University of Dayton School of Law have received variances from the ABA to offer those hybrid J.D.s that exceed the 30-credit limit, but those two programs aren’t due to launch until August. Still other schools have or plan to add hybrid programs that work within the existing 30-credit limitation by incorporating more on-campus time.

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January 12, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Associate Feedback: There's An App For That

Cleary Gottlieb, Cleary Launches New Feedback App for Associates:

As law firms work to develop new systems to coach and mentor their junior talent, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has launched an app that puts its associates in the driver’s seat and allows them to push for feedback when they want it.

is a tech-based platform that allows associates to request an informal feedback session with senior lawyers from an app located on their desk site. The app, which was launched earlier this month in its New York office, then blocks out time for these sessions on the lawyers’ respective calendars.

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January 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Revisiting The California Bar Exam Cut Score

WinickTaxProf Blog op-ed:  Revisiting the California Bar Exam Cut Score, by Mitchel L. Winick (President &  Dean, Monterey College of Law):

The traditional arguments in favor of maintaining an artificially high minimum passing score for the California Bar Exam seem so easy to defend. In the name of “public protection” we should require that the state only license the smartest and most capable lawyers. After all, how can “dumbing down the test” be in the best interest of the public or the profession? But these so-called policy arguments, seemingly righteous, lofty, and logical, do not reflect the actual legal questions that need to be asked. The licensing standard for passing the California bar exam should be a cut score that reflects the reasonable threshold for the “minimum qualifications for the first year practice of law.” This standard is well established by the Court and the Committee of Bar Examiners. Therefore, the legal question is whether the result of continuing to use 1440 as the minimum passing score in California meets the required licensing standard. Enforcing the appropriate standard serves a critical role in protecting the public, providing access to justice, and supporting diversity of the bench and bar.

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

The Bar Exam Of The Future Offers Plenty To Be Excited About

UBE (2018)Texas Lawyer, The Bar Exam of the Future Offers Plenty to Be Excited About:

A new era is on the horizon for Texas law graduates taking the bar exam—but many current and prospective law students might not know anything about it.

The Texas Supreme Court has approved a recommendation to replace the Texas bar exam with the Uniform Bar Examination, effective in February 2021. It’s a big deal, because reciprocity will allow graduates to transfer UBE scores to 34 other states. Another perk is the fewer topics and essay questions than the existing Texas bar exam. ...

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January 11, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Anderson: The GRE Movement in U.S. Law Schools

GRERobert Anderson (Pepperdine), The GRE Movement in U.S. Law Schools:

The latest reporting over at TaxProf indicates that the number of law schools accepting the GRE has grown to 34. The movement toward the GRE has been somewhat slow, in part because the ABA has dragged its feet in allowing wholesale use of the test under Standard 503. As it stands, the ABA position is that each law school needs to conduct its own study of the validity and reliability of the GRE before using the test for admission. 

That position doesn't make any sense.  The GRE's reliability is well established and is not specific to where it's used (law school versus other graduate school). The validity of the GRE for predicting law school performance is clear and has been demonstrated in every law school study publicly available to date. I have personally analyzed data related to the validity of the GRE for law school admission. There is overwhelming evidence that it is as good a predictor as the LSAT for law school performance.

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

How Law Schools Are Using Virtual Reality In The Classroom

Virtual RealityABA Journal, How Are Law Schools Using Virtual Reality Tools in Classrooms?:

This past summer at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, a small team of law students and school employees created a virtual reality crime scene. There was blood made of ketchup, a stapler, handprints and of course, a dead body. Using a 360-degree camera, the team staged an imaginative crime scene.

“It was an experiment at the request of a criminal law professor,” says Jennifer Wondracek, director of legal educational technology at the school. “We did it low-budget because we were trying it out.” The professor liked it, Wondracek says, and asked for another that could be used to supplement classroom material.

In fact, Wondracek says her department is ready to do a lot more, including re-creating actual crime scenes for the school’s criminal law classes.

And perhaps it won’t stop there.

Virtual reality technology has the potential to transform the law school experience. “We are at the beginning of what I think is going to be a revolution in the way we train our students,” Wondracek says. “We are right at the edge with virtual reality technology in both the law school setting and the legal profession.”

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January 10, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Need For Better Eligibility Regulations In The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Federal Student AidGregory Crespi (SMU), The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The Need for Better Eligibility Regulations, 66 Buff. L. Rev. 819 (2018):

People will start seeking tax-exempt debt forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) program in October of 2017 after satisfying the requirements of 10 years of post-October 1, 2007 employment in a “public service job.” I estimate that eventually 200,000 people a year or more will obtain debt forgiveness under this program, at a total cost to the Treasury of $12 billion/year or more. Estimates are that up to one-quarter of all employment will qualify as a public service job.

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January 10, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mindfulness: A Path To Well-Being And Balance For Lawyers And Law Students

Charity Scott (Georgia State), Mindfulness in Law: A Path to Well-Being and Balance for Lawyers and Law Students, 60 Ariz. L. Rev. 635 (2018):

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being has raised strong concerns about the poor state of the mental health and well-being of lawyers and law students across the country. The co-chairs of the Task Force concluded that recent studies’ findings of professional ill health and lack of well-being were incompatible with a sustainable legal profession and raised troubling implications for many lawyers’ basic competence. This Article takes an in-depth look at the relevance of mindfulness for the legal profession and legal education and offers mindfulness as one way to begin to respond effectively to the Task Force’s concerns.

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January 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Duke By Law School Applicant Who Didn't Take LSAT

Duke Law (2014)Duke Chronicle, Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Duke by Law School Applicant Who Didn't Take LSAT:

The case filed by a Duke Law applicant who didn’t take the Law School Admission Test and sued the Law School has been dismissed a few months after it was filed. 

But the plaintiff wasn't quite done.

After Judge Richard Andrews of the U.S. District Court of Delaware dismissed the lawsuit, plaintiff Edward Thomas Kennedy filed a motion asking the judge—an appointee of former President Barack Obama—to recuse himself from the case. Why? Kennedy cited "birtherism"—the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Africa—in his motion for recusal, arguing that the Andrews' impartiality was suspect. ...

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January 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Henderson: The 1-Year Anniversary Of The Institute For The Future Of Law Practice

IFLPFollowing up on my post from February 2018, Bill Henderson Launches The Institute For The Future Of Law Practice Bill Henderson (Indiana), An Update on IFLP:

Later this month, the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP, or “I-flip”) will celebrate its one year anniversary. Before that, it was just an idea in the minds of a few dozen lawyers, legal educators and allied professionals.  In the fall of 2017, this “Group of 40” participated in a needs analysis. There were two questions: Is an intermediary organization needed to align the interests of law schools, legal employers and clients around the educational requirements of 21st century law practice?  And if so, could such an organization become a viable nonprofit operating company?

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January 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

McGinnis: Liberal Bias Makes Law Schools Bad For Democracy

Following up on my previous posts:

John O. McGinnis (Northwestern), The Embedded Left-Liberal Assumptions of the Legal Academy:

The assumption that law schools should have a left-wing orientation is deeply problematic. Universities should have as their objective the production of knowledge, not activism. ... [D]emocratic stability is bolstered from having an engine that tries to discover truths even amidst its divisions of interest. And activism interferes with the university’s production of knowledge, because it leads directly to ideological discrimination and the erection of roadblocks of orthodoxy that impede truth seeking. To be sure, the law has a normative dimension, but norms also are a form of knowledge to which people can add and which they can refine. Thorstein Veblen thought that law schools had no more business in the university than schools of fencing, in part because they did not aim at producing knowledge. Moyn is proving him right.

The idea that law schools should steer students away from legal practice is an equally bad idea, particularly because it is bound up with another strand in Moyn’s essay—that law schools should imbue their students with a skepticism about the rule of law. This trope—drearily familiar from the critical legal studies movement—is obviously an ideological one as well. And in my view an indefensible one. To be sure, good societies have an imperfect commitment to the rule of law. But societies that lack that regulative ideal are truly dreadful ones.

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January 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Leiter Urges Boycott Of New SEALS' Faculty Recruitment Conference

SEALs Logo (2013)Following up on yesterday's post, SEALS Launches Law Faculty Recruitment Conference As Alternative To AALS Meat Market: Earlier, Cheaper, And More Inclusive:  Brian Leiter (Chicago), SEALS Decides to Screw Over Academic Job Seekers...:

I'm not aware of any other academic field where there are competing hiring conferences. Their absence is easy to explain: it's costly enough--in time and money--to seek an academic job, without having to think about going to two different conferences. In other fields, the main professional organization runs a hiring conference, which simplifes things for job seekers. I will be advising all Chicago candidates to ignore Professor Weaver's vanity project, and I would urge all hiring schools, including those that are part of SEALS, to boycott this process.

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

Tragedy Brings Out The Best In People (And Law Schools)

Fire High Res 4

Following up on my previous posts on the November Woolsey Fire that burned over 95,000 acres but spared the Pepperdine campus:

The good folks at Gonzaga Law School sent us this thoughtful gift:

Gonzaga 2

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January 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Ten Law Schools With The Highest Non-JD Enrollment

Following up on my previous post, 1L Enrollment Increased 3%, Non-JD Enrollment Surged 8% In Fall 2018:, Here's a Look at the 10 Law Schools With Highest Non-JD Enrollment:

Collectively, law schools are enrolling more non-J.D. students than ever before. The number of law school students who are pursuing LL.M. and masters in law degrees has doubled over the past decade. Today, 14 percent of enrolled students nationwide aren’t in J.D. programs. That figure had been inching up before 2008, but took off when the applicant pool for J.D. programs shrunk and law schools needed to find alternative ways to fill their seats and coffers. This fall, law schools enrolled 18,523 non-J.D. students, representing an 8 percent increase over 2017. Of those non-J.D. students, 5,588 were in online degree programs. Here are the 10 law schools with the highest percentage of students outside the traditional J.D. program, according to the latest figures from the American Bar Association [3 of the schools are ranked by U.S. News in the Top 20, 4 of the schools are ranked 40-65, and 3 of the schools are ranked below 146]:

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January 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Field: Complicity By Referral

Heather M. Field (UC-Hastings), Complicity by Referral, 31 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 77 (2018):

Providing a legal referral to a prospective client after declining a proffered matter may seem relatively uncontroversial. Indeed, a lawyer who provides a legal referral, even for an aspiring law-breaker, would be quite unlikely to be subject to any professional sanctions or legal liability as a result. Yet, by providing a legal referral to a potential law-breaker, the lawyer advances the prospective client’s highly questionable goals and becomes complicit in the client’s efforts to circumvent the law. Thus, this article argues that the decision to offer a legal referral is much more morally fraught than previously understood. In response, this article provides guidance about the parameters that should govern a lawyer’s decision about whether and to whom a lawyer should give legal referrals, particularly for matters where clients seek to achieve questionable (or worse) objectives.

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January 7, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)