Paul L. Caron
Dean





Thursday, March 4, 2021

'A Year Like No Other': Top Law Schools Are Inundated With Strong Applicants

Following up on Monday's post, Two-Thirds Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 97% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands:  Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'A Year Like No Other': Top Law Schools Are Inundated With Strong Applicants:

A surge of applicants—particularly among those with high scores on the Law School Admission Test—has made this one of the most competitive admission cycles in decades, and law schools are scrambling to adjust to the influx of wannabe lawyers.

As of early March, 55,166 people had applied to law school for the 2021-22 academic year, which is an increase of more than 20% from this time a year ago. Should that increase hold steady through the remainder of the cycle, it would be the largest year-over-year growth in the past two decades.

The applicant increase this cycle is especially pronounced among high LSAT scorers. The number of applicants with LSAT scores of 165-169 was up nearly 27%; scores of 170-174 were up more than 53%; and the highest score band of 175-180 was up an astounding 99%. (LSAT scores range from a low of 120 to a high of 180.) The number of applicants is also up among every racial category tracked by the Law School Admission Council, noted the organization’s president Kellye Testy. Black applicants are up more than 24%, while Latinx applicants are up 20%. ...

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

J. Goosby Smith Named Vice President For Community Belonging And Chief Diversity Officer At Pepperdine

J. Goosby Smith Named Vice President For Community Belonging And Chief Diversity Officer At Pepperdine University:

CDO 2Pepperdine University announced today its long-anticipated selection of the University’s inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer, Dr. J. Goosby Smith.

Smith will join Pepperdine on June 1, 2021, from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she currently serves as associate professor of leadership; associate professor of management; assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center.

Smith received her BS in computer science from Spelman College and her MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She anticipates earning her master of divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2021.

“What an honor it is today to announce Dr. Smith is returning to the Pepperdine community,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash. “I’m especially grateful to the Search Committee for identifying an amazing and experienced leader. I simply cannot wait to work alongside Dr. Smith as we chart a distinctively Pepperdine path forward addressing one of the great issues of our time. Our goal isn’t just to have a community of belonging but to train generations of graduates to create the same in their own communities.”

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Call For Proposals: Association For Mid-Career Tax Law Professors

The Association for Mid-Career Tax Law Professors (“AMT”) has issued a Call for Proposals:

Mid-CareerThe unvaccinated but optimistic 2021 AMT organizing committee—Jennifer Bird-Pollan, Emily Cauble, Brian Galle, Ben Leff, and Leigh Osofsky—welcomes proposals for our annual conference.

AMT is a recurring conference intended to bring together relatively recently tenured professors of tax law for frank and free-wheeling scholarly discussion. Our sixth (*: not counting last year’s summer Zoom series) annual meeting will be held virtually over two to three dates this summer: June 9, June 30, and July 21. We expect to convene for about 4 hours each day, not including the cocktail hours that Shu-Yi will inevitably organize. Presenters are asked to commit to attending at least 2/3 of the session hours; non-presenting guests (in addition to pets, inquisitive children, and in-home contractors) are welcome.

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Academic Freedom Is Withering On College Campuses

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Academic Freedom Is Withering, by Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck College, University of London):

Academic freedom is in crisis on American campuses. Last year, the National Association of Scholars recorded 65 instances of professors being disciplined or fired for protected speech, a fivefold increase from the year before. Yet many of academia’s defenders brush aside worries about dismissal campaigns and the lack of ideological diversity as little more than a collection of anecdotes cherry-picked to feed a right-wing moral panic.

My new report for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology gives the lie to these claims. Based on eight comprehensive surveys of academic and graduate-student opinion across the U.S., Canada and Britain, it buttresses the findings of numerous studies to provide hard data on the absence of viewpoint diversity and presence of discrimination against conservative and gender-critical scholars. ...

Some 75% of American and British conservative academics in social sciences and humanities say their departments offer a hostile climate for their beliefs. Nearly 4 in 10 American centrist faculty concur.

WSJ 1

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March 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Law School Rankings By Female Enrollment (2020)

Law School Rankings by Female Enrollment (2020):

Women outnumbered men in law school classrooms across the United States in 2020 for the 5th year in a row.

Here at Enjuris, we've spent 5 years tracking gender enrollment in law schools because studies show that female representation is important in the legal field.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the gender composition of law schools in 2020 based on the most recent data released by the American Bar Association (ABA), as well as how gender demographics have changed since we first started tracking the data and what the future might look like. ...

[W]omen have been making steady gains in top-ranked law schools. Thirteen of the top 20 law schools in 2020 increased the percentage of female attendees from 2019. What's more, 13 of the top 20 law schools had more female attendees than male attendees. ...

Overall law school rankings by female enrollment:

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March 3, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank: 800 Scholarships Totaling $3 Million

AccessLex Law School Scholarship Databank:

AccessLex (2020)With rising tuition rates and student loan debt at an all-time high, about 73% of students now depend on scholarships to help cover the cost of law school. However, weeding through the hundreds of scholarships available and finding the right one for you, can be a difficult and overwhelming task.

Today, AccessLex, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to legal education, has launched their Law School Scholarship Databank to help law students find the right scholarship for them. This interactive page will allow students to filter through nearly 800 incoming and returning student scholarships and writing competitions totaling almost $3 million in aid.

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March 3, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Higher Ed’s Misguided Purging Of Trump Supporters

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Higher Ed’s Misguided Purging of Trump Supporters, by Jonathan Zimmerman (Pennsylvania):

In 1948, President Edmund Ezra Day of Cornell explained why his institution would never hire a Communist on its faculty. “It is a part of the established technique of Communistic activity to resort to deceit and treachery,” Day wrote. “A man who belongs to the Communist Party and who follows the party line, is thereby disqualified from participating in a free, honest inquiry after truth, and from belonging on a university faculty devoted to the search for truth.”

Plug in “Trump supporter” for “Communist,” and you get a pretty good sense of what’s happening on our campuses right now. Students and faculty are demanding that universities sever ties with anyone who worked in the Trump administration or backed President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And the rationale is the same one that was used against Communists and so-called fellow travelers during the Cold War: They don’t believe in democracy, so they don’t belong at a university devoted to it.

But that perverts the democratic ideal, all in the guise of preserving it. The real threat isn’t a horde of evil Trumpers clamoring at our gates. It’s our quest to root out the enemies of democracy, which never ends well for the university. ...

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March 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Crespi: Teaching A Class On Income And Wealth Inequality

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU), Teaching a Class on Income and Wealth Inequality:

I am offering a course on “Income and Wealth Inequality” for the first time during this spring, 2021 semester at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, and the course is going well. I am here discussing my choice of materials and providing my course syllabus and my weekly reading assignment list for use by anyone else who is considering offering such a course at the college or graduate or law school level.

March 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Rise Of The Mega-University

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Rise of the Mega-University:

At a time when many colleges are struggling with shrinking enrollment and tighter budgets, Southern New Hampshire is thriving on a grand scale, and it’s not alone. Liberty, Grand Canyon, and Western Governors Universities, along with a few other nonprofit institutions, have built huge online enrollments and national brands in recent years by subverting many of traditional higher education’s hallmarks. Western Governors has 88,585 undergraduates, according to U.S. Education Department data, more than the top 14 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings combined.

CHE

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March 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Inoculating Law Schools Against Bad Metrics

Kimberlee G. Weatherall (University of Sydney Law School; Google Scholar) & Rebecca Giblin (University of Melbourne Law School; Google Scholar), Inoculating Law Schools Against Bad Metrics:

Law schools and legal scholars are not immune to the expanding use of quantitative metrics to assess the research of universities and of scholars working within universities. Metrics include grant and research income, the number of articles produced in journals on ranked lists, and citations (by scholars, and perhaps courts). The use of metrics also threatens to expand to measure other kinds of desired activity, with various metrics suggested to measure the impact of research beyond scholarly circles, and even more amorphous qualities such as leadership and mentoring.

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March 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Seeks Comments On Proposed Changes To Accreditation Standards Relating To Professional Formation, Mental Health And Substance Abuse

ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Notice and Comment: Standards 303 and 508 and Rules 2 and 13 (Mar. 1, 2021):

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)At its meeting held on February 18-19, 2021, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved for Notice and Comment proposed revisions to Standards 303 and 508 and Rules 2 and 13 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.

We solicit and encourage written comments on all the proposals listed above. Due to COVID-19, there will not be an open hearing, only a written comment period. Please address all written comments on the proposals to Scott Bales, Council Chair. Please send comments to Fernando Mariduena by March 31, 2021. Written comments received after March 31, 2021, may not be included in the materials considered by the Council at its May 2021 meeting.

PROPOSED CHANGES TO STANDARDS 303 AND 508 AND RULES 2 AND 13
Explanation of Changes

Standard 303: Development of professional identity was added to this Standard since activities that help in the development of professional identity must take place at multiple points over the course of a student’s time in law school, including as part of the law school curriculum. Interpretation 303-5 allows flexibility so that law schools can incorporate opportunities for student professional identity development into the curriculum, co-curricular activities, and professional development activities in meeting this part of the Standard while also defining “professional identity.”

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March 2, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Legislation Would Force Iowa Universities To Hold In-Person Graduation

The Gazette, Republican Bill Would Force Iowa Universities to Hold In-Person Graduation:

IowaAlthough the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa already announced their upcoming commencement ceremonies will be virtual — and are well into planning them — a Republican lawmaker is sponsoring a bill requiring Iowa’s public universities to hold in-person spring graduations.

House Study Bill 246, proposed this week by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, would force the regent universities to hold traditional in-person spring commencement ceremonies during the regularly scheduled times in May and June — two and three months from now.

The bill requires the campuses allow at least two guests per graduate — which could mean many thousands at some of the larger ceremonies, like for undergraduates of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. ...

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March 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, March 1, 2021

'Old Codgers' Mark Tushnet & Louis Seidman Reflect On Their 50 Years In Legal Education

Paul Horwitz (Alabama) flagged this "charming, useful, and insightful" dialogue between Mark Tushnet (Harvard) & Louis Michael Seidman (Georgetown), On Being Old Codgers: A Conversation about a Half Century in Legal Education

The conversation that follows, conducted over three evenings, captures some of our thoughts about the last half century of legal education as both of us near retirement. We have edited the conversations so as to eliminate verbal stumbles and present our ideas more coherently, slightly reorganized a small part of the conversation, and added a few explanatory footnotes. However, we have attempted to keep the informal tone of our discussions. ...

Seidman: ... I reject the idea that only students at elite institutions would benefit from this tension — the unique tension — stemming from the fact that law schools are situated between practice and theory, between academic institutions and the real world. That is what makes law schools on the one hand different from philosophy departments and on the other hand different from vocational training. It is a unique and important role. As you say, the boom years demonstrated that nonelite institutions could serve their students in that way also.

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

The Bob Morse Milestone: 45 Years At U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report, The Bob Morse Milestone: 45 Years at U.S. News:

Morse (Robert)The average American high school student probably doesn't know who Bob Morse is, what he does or the outsize impact he has had on the lives of countless college-bound teenagers. On the flip side, Morse is a familiar figure to college and university leaders across the U.S., known for his work on the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings since 1987.

Morse joined U.S. News & World Report in 1976 as a member of the now-defunct economic unit. Morse, who remembers being the youngest member of his team then, conducted research that helped inform weekly features for the print magazine. In the years since, he experienced the company's shift online and has helmed various rankings franchises for decades.

Morse recently marked his 45th anniversary with U.S. News and spoke about his time at the company and the evolution of the rankings. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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March 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Two-Thirds Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 97% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands

We are now two-thirds of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 20.9% compared to last year at this time.

LSAC 1

193 of the 200 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 23 law schools, and 30% or more at 89 law schools:

LSAC 5

Applicants are up the most in New England (28.6%), Mountain West (24.2%), and Northwest (23.6%); and up the least in the Great Lakes (16.6%), South Central (18.3%), and Other (19.1%):

LSAC 2

Applicants' LSAT scores are up 63.4% in the 170-180 band, 26.0% in the 160-169 band, 9.7% in the 150-159 band, and 4.7% in the 120-149 band:

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March 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Subscribing To TaxProf Blog

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March 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

ABA: Four Law Schools Are Back In Compliance With 75% Bar Passage Accreditation Requirement

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March 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, February 28, 2021

BigLaw Eschews Recruiting At Lower Ranked HBCU Law Schools Despite Pledge To Hire More Black Associates

Law360, BigLaw Eyes HBCUs, But Rankings Mindset Still Prevails:

US News HCBULast year's widespread cries for racial justice in the U.S. resulted in an outpouring of commitment from law firms both to the advancement of racial justice and to their own, internal diversity and inclusion efforts.

That appears to have translated into more BigLaw recruiting activities at some of the nation's six law schools [District of Columbia, Florida A&M, Howard, North Carolina Central, Southern, Texas Southern] within historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But the interest appears to have been limited, and increased recruiting activity did not always translate into jobs.

Experts say most BigLaw firms are missing out as they eschew the HBCUs — with the exception of Howard University School of Law, the highest ranked among them — in favor of the handful of top-ranked law schools where they have historically recruited.

Jean Lee, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, says she has long publicly lamented large law firms' preoccupation with recruiting at only a dozen or so top-ranked schools.

"All of the talented Black lawyers do not reside in the top 5% of law schools," Lee said. "It's a missed opportunity."

According to Carmia Caesar, Howard Law School assistant dean of career services, most large law firms, including 48 of the 50 largest in the U.S. by revenue, regularly recruit at her school.

Nonexhaustive law firm-reported data collected by the National Association for Law Placement, primarily capturing large firms, showed that 88 firms reported recruiting at Howard during the most recent on-campus season, while no more than four reported recruiting at each of the remaining five HBCU law schools. ...

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February 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

First Circuit Dismisses Former Miami Law Student's Libel Claim Against Above The Law For Unflattering Blog Post

ABove the LawThe U.S. Court if Appeals for the First Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court's dismissal [433 F.Supp.3d 102 (2020)] of former University of Miami law student's libel claim against Above the Law. See coverage by Eugene Volokh (UCLA):

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February 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Seven Deadly Sins And Lawyer Misconduct

Tory L. Lucas (Liberty), Greed and the Seven Deadly Sins: Treacherous for the Soul and Legal Ethics, 34 Regent U. L. Rev. 113 (2020):

As religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas, the Seven Deadly Sins occupy a common understanding of the worst behaviors that plague human relationships. Pride. Greed. Lust. Envy. Gluttony. Wrath. Sloth. Not exactly the traits that you seek in mutually beneficial relationships! Striving for universal appeal, this novel Article presents the Seven Deadly Sins as a useful construct to explain why lawyers commit major ethical violations. The underlying premise is that one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins lies behind every major ethical violation.

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February 28, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, February 27, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

California Joins Seven Other Jurisdictions (Thus Far) In Holding Online July 2021 Bar Exam

NCBE July 2021 Bar Exam

Supreme Court of California, Administrative Order 2021-02-26 (En Banc Feb. 26, 2021):

The circumstances surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in California continue to severely limit the State Bar's ability to administer the General Bar Examination in the traditional mass, in-person format. Accordingly, the court hereby approves modifications to the standard schedule for the General Bar Examination as set out below.

The General Bar Examination will be administered online as a mostly remotely delivered exam over two consecutive days on Tuesday, July 27 and Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Utilizing reasonable pandemic-related precautions, the General Bar Examination will be administered in-person at the discretion of the State Bar to those applicants granted testing accommodations that cannot be effectively provided and securely administered in a remote environment, and for those with other extenuating circumstances that require them to take the test in-person rather than remotely.

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February 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tobin: The Tax Code Can Save The $15 Minimum Wage

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  The Tax Code Can Save the $15 Minimum Wage, by Donald Tobin (Dean, Maryland):

Tobin (2020)The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that minimum wage legislation cannot be included in the President’s COVID relief package because it does not meet requirements under the Congressional Budget Act. While I think there is a strong argument that minimum wage legislation meets the Budget Act’s requirements, it is clear that Congress could pass the equivalent of a minimum wage through the tax code in a way that clearly satisfies the Budget Act.

The Congressional Budget Act created a procedure for reconciling the budget when it is not in balance.  This procedure, termed “reconciliation,” provides for an expedited procedure for approval of certain bills related to the budget.

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February 27, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

The Pandemic Threatens Summer Associate Programs—Again

Law.com, Pandemic Puts Summer Associate Programs Into Question—Again:

Am Law 200 firm leaders say they’re capable of adapting their summer associates program to a virtual format in 2021, many for the second time, if too few people have received the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to allow a safe return. But virtual is not their first choice.

Some large firms have committed to holding at least part of their program in the office. Others are still waiting to make a decision on format, and one large firm committed to holding no summer program at all. ...

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February 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, February 26, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Thursday, March 4: Eleanor Wilking (Cornell) will present Does It Matter Who Remits? Evidence from U.S. States’ Voluntary Collection Agreements (with Yeliz Kacamak (Boğaziçi University; Google Scholar) and Tejaswi Velayudhan (Ohio State; Google Scholar)) virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Thursday, March 4: Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) will present A New Corporate Tax virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman.

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February 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax

Dialogs

Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs: Tax Meets Non-Tax:

In an environment of increasing academic specialization, Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs seeks to build bridges across academic disciplines by introducing a new kind of workshop. For each session, a tax scholar will select a non-tax, but legal, work that is prominent in its own field and explain how the work is relevant to the study of taxation. The author of the work will then respond before we open the session to questions and discussion by workshop attendees.

All sessions will take place on Zoom, unless otherwise indicated, and the work to be discussed will be distributed on this page in advance of the session.

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February 26, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Amar: What Accounts For The Increase In Law School Applications This Year?

Vikram David Amar (Dean, Illinois), What Accounts for the Increase in Law School Applications This Year?:

As we head into the latter part of this year’s admissions cycle, the number of applicants to law schools around the country is up over 21%. The increase in applicants varies across regions, but in no area is it up less than 17% compared to this time last year. ...

What could account for such a development? It’s hard to say for sure, but there are several possibilities that are obvious enough to warrant exploration.

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February 26, 2021 in Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, February 25, 2021

2020 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2021 Competition

The winner of the International Fiscal Association's 2020 International Tax Student Writing Competition is Shay Moyal (S.J.D. 2020, Michigan; Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York), Don’t Stop the Beat, 166 Tax Notes Fed. 721 (Feb. 3, 2020).
Faculty Sponsor: Reuven Avi-Yonah

IFA Logo (2015)The recent addition to the Internal Revenue Code, the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT), is a subject of concern for many tax scholars and practitioners. This new provision joins a large family of measures that have been adopted worldwide and in the U.S.; however, unlike the other new International Tax provisions from the 2017 reform, the BEAT has neither a predecessor in prior laws nor in former proposals. To start, the phrase “Base Erosion” itself lacks clarity. Furthermore, the relatively short amount of time lawmakers took to enact the addition and the lack of any stated objectives require an inquiry into the objectives and original intent of this complex section of the code. This paper seeks to illuminate the original intent of the BEAT and the expansive language of its provisions by examining multiple factors such as its structure, legislative history, other International Tax principles, and the BEAT’s similarities to recent international tax trends – like Pillar II of the OECD BEPS or the Digital Services Minimum Taxes around the globe.

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Conflict Surrounds Charleston Law School Land Deal, With $13 Million At Stake

Post and Courier, Conflict Surrounds Charleston School of Law Land Deal, With Nearly $13M at Stake:

Charleston Logo (2017)When Charleston sold land to the for-profit Charleston School of Law 16 years ago, at a discount, the plan was for CSOL to build a school there, not flip the property to a hotel developer for a huge profit.

Now, with a $12,850,000 sale pending and a nine-story hotel planned on the property at Meeting and Woolfe streets, City Council has been delaying the sale. CSOL President Ed Bell calls it a “shakedown” and warns that the city could be sued.

“The city has lots of risks from being cute and smart about this,” said Bell, a Georgetown lawyer. “If you’re going to do a shakedown, you’d better be right.”

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Free Webinar Today On #BlackEconomistsMatter: Economic Justice Recommendations For The Biden Administration

#BlackEconomicrsMatter

Following up on my previous posts:

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice hosts a free webinar today at 3:00 PM ET on #BlackEconomistsMatter: Economic Justice Recommendations for the Biden Administration:

For over 100 years, Black economists have been erased by the profession and media. Occupational segregation in economics not only results in loss of opportunities and wage gaps for qualifying women, candidates of color, and others who are discriminated against, but undermines and narrows access to innovative solutions, diverse strategies, broad-based data collection, targeted recommendations, and practical remedies for societal inequities.

In 2017, seven Black women received a Ph.D. in economics in the U.S. In 2018, the number dropped to four out of over 1,000 economic doctoral degree graduates. A 2018 AEA report found that Black, Latinx, and Native American students were less likely to complete degrees in economics compared to any other subject. In 2017, only 16% of all economics degrees were awarded to these students of color.

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Why Would Iowa Want To Kill Tenure?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Would Iowa Want to Kill Tenure?:

IowaIowa’s Republican-controlled legislature is considering a bill to eliminate tenure at the state’s three public universities — Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa. The bill is nothing new; similar versions have been introduced for several years running, never to advance further than that. But this year, the bill passed a full committee vote for the first time.

The bill’s odds of passage are still slim. But it has put Iowa at the forefront of the decades-long battle against higher education by conservative legislators — an assault that may be supercharged by the cultural grievances of the Trump era. As in other states, Republican lawmakers argue that colleges are squelching views that don’t hew to progressive ideals of gender, racial, and economic equity.

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

1-Liners Wanted: Why Should Law Students Take A Tax Class?

From Leandra Lederman (Indiana) and Allison Christians (McGill):

BiT

1-liners are due on Twitter by this Sunday, February 28.

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February 25, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Law School As A Consumer Product

Debra Moss Vollweiler (Nova), Law School as a Consumer Product: Beat 'em or Join 'em?, 40 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2019):

With rising costs, pressure on performance metrics and competitive high-profile rankings, law schools are more than ever before being judged on a consumer satisfaction basis by both students and the public. While this perception has been growing over the past two decades, it has reached a crisis point in legal education. When students have their choice of educational institutions, they may act like consumers, and choose to spend their money based on metrics that satisfy them as buyers. This consumer mindset not only impacts admissions, but also can play out in the retention of students. The loss of students transferring out can take a serious toll on a law school, including potential detriments in bar passage, productive classrooms, the loss of future high performing alumni, and the cost of replacing the tuition generation. Schools are thus pressured to address the consumer issue.

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

Jennifer Lee Koh Joins Pepperdine Caruso Law Faculty

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law:

Koh (2021)Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is pleased to welcome Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law. Beginning this coming fall, Professor Koh will be teaching courses related to immigration law, criminal law, and ethics, as well as co-directing the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics. She has previously taught at University of California, Irvine School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, Stanford Law School, and Western State College of Law.

Professor Koh's scholarship focuses on the convergence of the immigration enforcement and criminal legal systems. Her most recent article, Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, will be published in the Yale Law Journal. Her previous work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Duke Law Journal OnlineFlorida Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Stanford Law Review OnlineWashington University Law ReviewWisconsin Law Review, and Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Dean Paul Caron said "we're thrilled that Jennifer will be joining our faculty. She is an outstanding teacher, spectacular scholar, and wonderful colleague. When Jennifer visited campus as part of the recruiting process, she brought her husband, two young children, and parents -- we're delighted that they all will be part of our Pepperdine Caruso Law family."

Professor Koh was drawn to Pepperdine because of its Christian mission and commitment to integrating religious faith in legal education and the legal profession. She participated in three annual conferences hosted by the Nootbaar Institute and published an essay, Agape, Grace and Immigration Law: An Evangelical Perspective, in a book collection co-edited by Professor Bob Cochran.

"I'm honored to join the extraordinary community of faculty, staff, administrators and students at Pepperdine Caruso Law. I have long admired the law school's tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, commitment to global justice, and history of bringing faith-based perspectives to the law," said Professor Koh. "Pepperdine is the ideal place to pursue my calling to teach and write about law, which I aspire to do with the goal of seeking justice."

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Are Social Justice And Tenure Compatible?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Are Social Justice and Tenure Compatible?:

As Harvard’s denial of tenure consideration for Cornel West shows, universities embrace activist rhetoric, but not activists.

With Cornel West’s recent request to be considered for tenure denied, the question academics should be asking themselves is not if they are tenurable, but if they even want to be. Last week West shared that he may leave Harvard because of the denial of his tenure-consideration request, and the academic (and nonacademic) world reacted with outrage, critique, and confusion (many assumed West already had tenure). Regardless of what you think of West’s politics and unsteady relationship with the academy, it’s clear that his body of work and legacy are worth tenure at any institution. The widespread assumption that West already had tenure was revealing: We intuitively believe obviously tenurable individuals would have tenure, a conviction that’s increasingly being challenged.

West’s case brings up recurring conversations on race, social justice, and tenure, and this discourse ranges from considerations of how to make tenure equitable to cases for the abolition of tenure.

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Christians & Lederman: Should You Get A Tax LLM?

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Loretta Collins Argrett

U.S. Tax Court's Diversity & Inclusion Series, Tax Trailblazers: Mentoring the Next Generation:

ArgrettPlease join the United States Tax Court in honoring Black History Month and kicking off the first in a series of monthly programs celebrating diversity and inclusion in tax law. Moderated by Chief Judge Maurice B. Foley, February’s webinar will focus on Loretta Collins Argrett and her path to—and success in—the field of tax law. Today at 7:00-8:15 PM EST (register here).

Loretta Collins Argrett graduated from Howard University with a B.S. degree in chemistry, with honors. Upon graduation, she received a Fellowship for summer study with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland whose Chief years later was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry. When she returned to the States, she worked for several years as a research chemist at local U.S. government institutions and became the co-author, with senior researchers, of a few scientific publications. Then, she decided she wanted to become a lawyer and, with the support of her husband, applied to Harvard Law School where she was accepted. At the time, she was 35 years old and the mother of two children (13 and10 years), who also moved with her to new schools in the Boston area. She graduated in 1976, and the family moved back to their home in Maryland. She has had a trailblazing series of firsts in her tax law career:

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Writing White And Teaching Legal Writing

Patrick Barry (Michigan), Elephant in the Room:

Over the past several decades, the student population at law schools across the country has become more and more racially diverse. In 1987, for example, only about 1 in every 10 law students identified as a person of color; by 2019, that percentage shot up to almost 1 out of 3.

Yet take a look at virtually any collection of recommended manuals on writing. You are unlikely to find even one that is authored by a person of color. The composition of law schools may be dramatically changing, but the materials that students are given to help them figure out how to put together documents that are proper, persuasive, and professional are designed pretty much exclusively by white people. “To write right,” we seem to be saying, “you need to write white.”

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

What Do Constitutional Law Professors Do?

David Fontana (George Washington), What Do Constitutional Law Professors Do?, 2020 Wis. L. Rev. 317 (2020):

This Essay—written for a symposium hosted by the Wisconsin Law Review on Andrew Coan’s splendid new book [Rationing the Constitution: How Judicial Capacity Shapes Supreme Court Decision-Making (Harvard University Press 2019)]—examines the social space that nonclinical, tenure-track American constitutional law professors occupy, and whether that social space is a desirable one.

Constitutional law professors are relatively unique among faculty in the current American research university for the degree to which they speak to those inside and outside of the university. Constitutional law professors are socialized by and participate in the research community of the university but also the elite legal profession. They aspire to speak truth to power, but they are also part of the power that they seek to evaluate. It is good for a society to have scholarly insights brought to bear on important decisions by powerful people, and law professors are increasingly the ones doing that. It is also good to have a scholarly discipline generated by combining its own original insights with the insights of other disciplines. As the humanities and social sciences produce more technical scholarship, more removed from the comprehension and concerns of daily life, this engaged and interdisciplinary role for constitutional law professors becomes more important because it is more uncommon. However, being such a part of the system that one aspires to evaluate also encourages law professors to be more deferential and defensive of existing power structures.

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

ABA Seeks Student Loan Debt Relief, Menstrual Equity On Bar Exam; Rejects CA, NY & NJ Deans' Request To Shift Final Jobs Reporting Date Due To COVID-19

Pepperdine Law Review Tribute To Professor Jim McGoldrick

Pepperdine Law Review (2021)

Following up on my previous posts (links below) on the tragic death of Jim McGoldrick, who died from COVID-19 in May 2020 after serving nearly fifty years on the Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty:  the Pepperdine Law Review dedicated its most recent issue, Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan. 2021), to Jim with these tributes:

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

Monday, February 22, 2021

New Faculty-Edited Law Journal: The Journal Of Free Speech Law

Journal of Free Speech Law

Eugene Volokh (UCLA) has announced the launch of a new faculty-edited law journal, the Journal of Free Speech Law. Eugene is the Editor-in-Chief. The 29-person Board of Editors is a who's who of academics and judges.

The inaugural symposium issue, Regulating Social Media Removal Decisions?, is scheduled to be published in July 2021. The journal is accepting submissions for volume 1, issue 2 (exclusive submissions only).

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February 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

LSAC Extends Online LSAT-Flex Through June 2022

LSAC, The LSAT — August 2021 & Beyond:

LSAC (2018)Given the expressed preferences of the substantial majority of test takers, LSAC is pleased to announce that we will continue to provide the LSAT in an online, live remote-proctored format through June 2022. Dates for the upcoming testing year are now available so that law school candidates may plan in advance for the timing that works best for them.

Registration for the August 2021-June 2022 LSAT administrations will open in mid-May 2021.

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February 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

UC-Irvine Hosts Virtual Symposium Today On Taxation In A Time Of Crisis

UC-Irvine hosts a virtual symposium today on Taxation in a Time of Crisis (program):

UC Irvine (20192)Panel #1: Tax Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Panel #2: Equitable Tax Administration During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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February 22, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Tulane Law Review's First Black Editor-In-Chief Has Big Plans For 105-Year-Old Journal

New Orleans Advocate, Tulane Law Review's First Black Editor-in-Chief Has Big Plans For 105-Year-Old Journal:

MiltonIn the nearly six decades since Tulane University admitted its first Black students, attempts to diversify the New Orleans campus have been glacially slow to reach one of its most revered programs: The 105-year-old Tulane Law Review.

Antonio Milton, a 22-year-old law student from Carencro, aims to change that, and in a big way he already has.

The second-year law student won election recently to become the first Black editor-in-chief of the prestigious, student-run legal journal. According to Milton, he’s only the 10th Black member in the law review’s history, and its only current Black member. ...

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February 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, February 21, 2021

California Won't Ditch Facial Recognition For February Bar Exam Despite Threatened Lawsuit

Karen Sloan (Law.com), California Won't Ditch Facial Recognition for February Bar Exam:

California State Bar (2019)The State Bar of California isn’t planning any last-minute changes to its Feb. 23 and 24 online bar exam. A civil rights group’s threat to sue over the use of facial recognition on the upcoming remote bar exam fails to make the case that the technology is discriminatory, according to a response letter from the bar association.

Moreover, moving to an open-book exam as suggested by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law would still require facial recognition in order to verify the identities of test takers, unless the bar eliminated identity verification altogether, the letter states.

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February 21, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink