TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, May 24, 2019

University Of Oklahoma Inflated Its Alumni Giving Data For 20 Years, U.S. News Strips Its #127 Ranking

U.S. News Generic RankingsU.S. News Rankings Updates:

University of Oklahoma: The school told U.S. News that it had inflated its alumni giving data since 1999, which affects its placement in the National Universities, Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans and A-Plus Schools for B Students rankings and lists. For the 2019 Best Colleges rankings, the University of Oklahoma originally reported its two-year alumni giving rate at 14 percent. The school informed U.S. News the correct value is 9.7 percent. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5 percent in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

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May 24, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Karen Brown Receives Bloomberg Lifetime Achievement Award For Distinguished Service In Tax


Professor Karen B. Brown Awarded 2018 Leonard L. Silverstein Award for Distinguished Service in Tax by Bloomberg Tax:

Bloomberg Tax announced the 2018 recipients for outstanding authorship in federal taxation and the Leonard L. Silverstein Award for Distinguished Service in TaxKaren B. Brown, Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law, was this year’s recipient of the Silverstein Award, named after the founder of the Tax Management Portfolios, for his long-standing contributions to the field of tax.

“One of the beautiful things about a lifetime achievement award is that it doesn't just recognize the achievements of the recipient, but it most especially acknowledges the contributions of all those, like Mr. Leonard Silverstein, who have gone before to blaze a path for us to follow,” said Professor Brown. “The Leonard L. Silverstein Award for Distinguished Service in Tax is an enormous honor which I will always cherish. I am very proud to accept it and hope to continue to bring honor to Mr. Silverstein's legacy.”

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

Duke Pays $54.5 Million To Settle Class Action Alleging Non-Poaching Agreement With UNC Stifled Lateral Faculty Moves

Duke UNCFollowing up on my previous posts:

Wall Street Journal, Duke University Moves to Settle No-Poach Case for $54.5 Million:

Duke and the University of North Carolina are fierce competitors on the basketball court, but when it comes to medical hiring, they have been cozy collaborators, according to a class action that Duke moved to settle Monday for $54.5 million.

The lawsuit, filed in 2015, alleges the rivals agreed not to hire each other’s medical faculty in certain circumstances.

The lead plaintiff, Duke radiology professor Danielle Seaman, contacted UNC about the possibility of becoming a thoracic radiologist there.  A UNC official allegedly responded that such a job switch wasn’t possible because Duke and UNC had agreed not to poach each other’s medical faculty for positions that would be a lateral move between the two institutions, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit sought to cover a class of more than 5,000 potentially affected faculty members.

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

Tenured Kentucky Professor Sues Provost, Dean For Not Assigning Him Classes To Teach After Committee Rebuffed Attempt To Fire Him For Assigning His Book In His Classes And Keeping The $6k Royalties

Kentucky (University)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Kentucky Kernel, Tenured Professor Sues Provost, Dean, Other Administrators:

Tenured journalism professor Buck Ryan has initiated legal proceedings against some of the University of Kentucky’s top administrative officials, alleging they defamed him and retaliated against him after he refused to resign. Ryan’s suit names university administrators Provost David Blackwell, Interim Dean of the College of Communication and Information Derek Lane, Director of the School of Journalism and Media Mike Farrell and chief audit executive Joseph Reed. 

The lawsuit comes after UK administrators initiated termination proceedings against Ryan in May 2018, following the publication of an internal audit that said Ryan profited from the sales of his self-authored textbook that was required for some of his classes.

DogThe internal audit stated that Ryan had made about $6,000 in royalties from his textbook "Writing Baby, Editing Dog & You: A Friendly Place to Begin Your Writing," since he began using the book, which has been required for Ryan’s JOU 101 since at least 2009.

When tasked with investigating the charges against Ryan, the University Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure unanimously recommended to President Eli Capilouto and the Board of Trustees that Ryan keep his status as tenured professor. Ryan’s lawsuit alleges the audit, which was overseen by Reed, included “misrepresentations and false statements” that cast him in a false light.

After the publication of the internal audit, Provost David Blackwell told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he believed Ryan “stole from students. And he used university resources to do it." ...

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

Judge Denies Third Request For Delay In June 3 Trial Of Suspects In Dan Markel's 2014 Murder

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

33% Of Female Attorneys Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work, 50% Have Been Bullied

US TooBloomberg, Third of Female Lawyers Have Been Sexually Harassed, Report Finds:

One in three female attorneys has been sexually harassed at work, and half have been bullied, according to a global survey that brings law firms into a #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood and has engulfed much of the corporate world.

The International Bar Association survey — based on the online responses of 6,980 attorneys from 135 countries — found sexual harassment in the industry is “common” and bullying is “rife” [Us Too: Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession].

Since the #MeToo movement kicked off two years ago, law firms have been hired to advise corporations on how to handle harassment allegations. IBA president Horacio Bernardes Neto said attorneys needed to get their own hiring and workplace behavior in order because of the risk being called out for hypocrisy.

“These are shocking numbers,” said Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society, which represents attorneys in England and Wales. “We really need to eradicate this.” Since many incidents go unreported, it’s possible that the industry “wasn’t aware of the scale and size of the problem,” she said. ...

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May 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA's Tougher Bar Pass Rule For Law Schools Applauded, Derided

ABA Logo (2016)Following up on Saturday's post, ABA: Law Schools Will Lose Their Accreditation Unless 75% Of Their Graduates Pass The Bar Within Two Years, Beginning With The Class of 2017:, ABA's Tougher Bar Pass Rule for Law Schools Applauded, Derided:

Three days after the American Bar Association decided to toughen the bar passage standard for law school accreditation, legal educators have sharply diverging views on what the new rule will mean and how things might change—or not.

The Council of the Section of Legal Education on Friday adopted a long-debated rule change that reduces the time—from five years to two years—that schools have to get at least 75 percent of their graduates to pass the bar exam.

Proponents say the ABA rightly has cracked down on underperforming campuses, while opponents argue that the change will exacerbate the uneven playing field between schools in different jurisdictions and imperil diversity efforts. ...

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May 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

How To Fix The U.S. News Law School Rankings

U.S. News Law (2019)Christopher D. Iacono (J.D. 2019, Pennsylvania), Legally Unhappy: How US News and Law Schools Have Failed and How This Can Be Fixed:

Law schools are deficient in directing students to career paths that suit their interests. Research has shown that top law school graduates are not happy. Why are some of the most driven people on earth dissatisfied with their legal careers? Too much emphasis has been placed on the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings [hereinafter US News]. US News does not structure their rankings on categories that reflect a high-quality law school experience. Law school deans have found ways to manipulate rank. Law school graduates are forced into BigLaw to service the huge debt that often comes with attending the “best” schools. Law schools ignore these issues and increase their tuition to pay full-time faculty who focus more on scholarship than teaching.

The issues are soluble. First, US News should revamp their criteria to accentuate value and satisfaction. Law schools should mirror those goals through practical steps to reduce tuition and enhance professional satisfaction. ...

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May 22, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Law Professors Should Be More Like Football Coaches

Mind 2New York Times op-ed:  Math Teachers Should Be More Like Football Coaches, by John Urschel (Ph.D. Candidate, MIT; Guard, Baltimore Ravens (2014-17); author, Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football (2018)):

Growing up, I thought math class was something to be endured, not enjoyed. I disliked memorizing formulas and taking tests, all for the dull goal of getting a good grade. In elementary school, my mind wandered so much during class that I sometimes didn’t respond when I was called on, and I resisted using the rote techniques we were taught to use to solve problems. One of my teachers told my mother that I was “slow” and should repeat a grade. ...

What I wanted to do was play college football. I was an offensive lineman. My hero was Jake Long, the starting left tackle for the University of Michigan who would later be selected first in the N.F.L. draft. My ambition was to get an athletic scholarship to attend a Big Ten school.

The chances of that happening were very low. In high school, I weighed “only” 220 pounds — about 80 pounds less than a big-time college tackle. I was an above-average athlete, but not a freak of nature. And my high school in Buffalo was an academic powerhouse, not a “feeder” school for college sports programs.

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May 21, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

31% Passed February 2019 California Bar Exam, Up 4% From Last Year

California Bar ExamNational Law Journal, Nearly 7 in 10 Flunked California's February 2019 Bar Exam:

Still, the success rate—31.4%—increased 4.1 percentage points from the historically low pass rate of 27.3% recorded in February 2018.

Only 31.4% of would-be attorneys passed California’s February 2019 bar exam, marking the second-lowest pass rate on the notoriously difficult test in 35 years, according to figures released by the state bar Friday night.

The success rate was 4.1 percentage points higher than the historically low pass rate of 27.3% recorded in February 2018.

Pass rate (rounded to whole numbers) by law school type:

School Type



California ABA



Out-of-State ABA



California Accredited (but not ABA)



Unaccredited: Fixed-Facility



Unaccredited: Correspondence



Unaccredited Distance Learning



All Others



All Applicants



Pepperdine's pass rate for first-time takers was 67% (compared to the 45% California ABA average). Pepperdine's pass rate for repeat test-takers was 53% (compared to the 38% California ABA average).

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

AALS Tax Section Call For Papers: New Voices In Tax Law & Policy

AALS (2018)The AALS Section on Taxation is pleased to announce the following Call for Papers. Selected papers will be presented at a works-in-progress session at the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The works-in-progress session is tentatively scheduled for Friday, January 3, 2020. This program will provide speakers the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from commentators in the field.

Eligibility: Scholars teaching at AALS member schools or non-member fee-paid schools with seven or fewer years of full-time teaching experience as of the submission deadline are eligible to submit papers. For co-authored papers, all authors must satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Due date: 5 p.m. PDT, Thursday, August 15, 2019.

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May 21, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

'We Have Parents Who Call Their Kids At Harvard And Michigan To Wake Them Up Every Morning'

Wall Street Journal, The Overprotected American Child:

Overzealous parenting can do real harm. Psychologists and educators see it as one factor fueling a surge in the number of children and young adults being diagnosed with anxiety disorders. According to a study published this year in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the number of children aged 6 to 17 whose parents said they were currently diagnosed with anxiety grew from 3.5% in 2007 to 4.1% in 2012. And in a 2017 survey of more than 31,000 college students by the American College Health Association, 21.6% reported that they had been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety problems during the previous year. That is up from 10.4% in a 2008 survey. ...

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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Children Of Deceased Soldiers, Low-Income College Students Are Taxed Like Trust-Fund Babies Under 2017 Tax Act

Wall Street Journal Tax Report, The Surprising Tax Bill for Sons and Daughters of Gold-Star Families:

The Kiddie Tax is a decades-old law meant to prevent the wealthy from shifting assets to children in order to take advantage of their lower income-tax rates.

But a revision to the tax in the big overhaul passed by Congress in 2017 is raising taxes on as many as 10,000 children of deceased service members who earn an average annual benefit of about $13,000, according to Department of Defense data provided by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS. It’s a nonprofit group for families who have lost service members that’s working to change the law.

And the new rules reach well beyond military families. They can also raise taxes on children from lower-income families who receive income after a tragedy and pose a threat to millions of students receiving college financial aid.

Congress passed the Kiddie Tax in 1986. Until then a parent could, say, give a child appreciated stock and the child could sell it, pay tax at lower rates, and use the proceeds to pay for college tuition or a Corvette.

The 1986 provision levied the Kiddie Tax on a broad range of children’s “unearned” income above an exemption, which currently is $2,200. Above that amount, the children owed tax at the parents’ rate. The levy has never applied to a youngster’s earnings from being a camp counselor or designing websites.

Many features of the 1986 Kiddie Tax were complex, however. To simplify, the 2017 overhaul switched the Kiddie Tax rate from the parents’ rate to trust tax rates. These kick in at a very low level of taxable income: For 2019, the top rate of 37% takes effect at just $12,751.

Kiddie Tax

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May 20, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Benefits Of Sleeping With Your Dog

JosieNew York Times op-ed:  I Traded the 12-Step Program for a Dog, by Tyler Watamanuk:

Most nights, my dog River sleeps in my bed. He is a red heeler, although his speckled coat is closer to an auburn-bronze than any shade that could be earnestly called “red.” Before I fall asleep, he jumps onto the comforter and curls up into a furry crescent moon next to me, nuzzling his rust-colored snout into my chest and wedging himself somewhere in between my limbs and heart.

When he rests beside me, I can feel my heartbeat slow down ever so slightly, and a woozy solace unknots my restless brain. For the two years we lived on a noisy Brooklyn street, the harsh sounds of the big city outside my window even seemed to soften. His presence feels more comforting than the slow euphoria of hydrocodone or the dizzying blackout of too many whiskey sodas — feelings I was well acquainted with before I got sober and welcomed this dog into my life.

This calming effect felt unmistakable and tangible, like the feeling of walking barefoot on freshly cut grass. I thought I might be imagining it, so I eventually looked it up: According to Psychology Today, lying next to a dog’s rhythmic breathing can help lull you to sleep and also increase the flow of oxytocin, a hormone associated with affection and happiness. Speaking from experience, I believe both of these things to be true.

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May 20, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

SAT To Give Students ‘Adversity Score’: 1 (Privilege) To 100 (Hardship)

Wall Street Journal, SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background:

WSJ 2The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions.

This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

Fifty colleges used the score last year as part of a beta test. The College Board plans to expand it to 150 institutions this fall, and then use it broadly the following year.

How colleges consider a student’s race and class in making admissions decisions is hotly contested. ...

The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, said it has worried about income inequality influencing test results for years. White students scored an average of 177 points higher than black students and 133 points higher than Hispanic students in 2018 results. Asian students scored 100 points higher than white students. The children of wealthy and college-educated parents outperformed their classmates. ...


An adversity score of 50 is average. Anything above it designates hardship, below it privilege. ...

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May 20, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Congratulations, Pepperdine Law School Class of 2019

Graduation Stage

Congratulations to the Pepperdine Law Class of 2019. It has been an honor to have you among us these three years. You have left an indelible mark here — we have literally been tested by fire together and we are all stronger for the experience. We are confident that each and every one of you has a bright future in the law. Please continue to share your lives with us and stay in touch in the coming years. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus in December for your bar swearing in ceremony.

I hope you enjoyed our speakers — 3L Ava Jahanvash, Distinguished Alumnus and Washington State Head Football Coach Mike Leach ('86), and Commencement Speaker and Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai (who tweeted about his experience and posted his speech online) — as much as I did.

I also cherish our second annual Baccalaureate Service the night before graduation for our graduating 3Ls and their friends and families.

Baccalaureate 1

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

Saturday, May 18, 2019

ABA: Law Schools Will Lose Their Accreditation Unless 75% Of Their Graduates Pass The Bar Within Two Years, Beginning With The Class of 2017

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Journal, ABA Legal Ed Section's Council Adopts Tighter Bar Pass Standard; Clock For Compliance Starts Now:

Following multiple years of discussion, and two rejections from the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar adopted a proposed revision to tighten an accreditation standard regarding bar passage Friday.

To be in compliance with the revised version of Standard 316, at least 75% of a law school’s graduates who sat for a bar exam must pass within two years of graduation. Under the previous rule, there were various ways to meet the standard, and no law school had been found to be out of compliance with it.

Those ways include:

  • Having a 75% pass rate for all graduates over the five most recent calendar years;
  • Having a 75% pass rate for at least three of those five years;
  • And having at least 70% of its graduates pass the bar at a rate within 15 percentage points of the average first-time bar pass rate for ABA-approved law school graduates in the same jurisdiction for three out of the five most recently completed calendar years.

Under ABA rules, the House of Delegates can send a proposed revision back to the section’s council twice, but the council has the final decision on matters related to law school education. The House of Delegates voted against the proposed revision in February 2017 and this past January.

An FAQ sheet posted on the section’s website before the vote was taken states that if adopted, the proposed revision “will be effective at the conclusion” of Friday’s meeting. The first time that law schools would be subject to the revision is spring 2020, when they file ultimate bar passage rates of 2017 graduates. Like the old version of Standard 316, once it’s determined that a law school does not meet the standard requirements, they have two years to come into compliance.

For how many law school graduates of the classes of 2015 2016 passed the bar within two years of graduation, see:

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

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times: The Case For Doing Nothing

New York Times op-ed:  The Case for Doing Nothing, by Olga Mecking:

Keeping busy?

Running from place to place and laboring over long to-do lists have increasingly become ways to communicate status: I’m so busy because I’m just so important, the thinking goes.

Perhaps it’s time to stop all this busyness. Being busy — if we even are busy — is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is. Nonetheless, the impact is real, and instances of burnout, anxiety disorders and stress-related diseases are on the rise, not to mention millennial burnout.

There’s a way out of that madness, and it’s not more mindfulness, exercise or a healthy diet (though these things are all still important). What we’re talking about is … doing nothing. Or, as the Dutch call it, niksen. ...

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

The Disappearance Of Ampersands In Law Firms Names

AmpersandABA Journal, For Law Firms, the Ampersand Is a Character Worth Saving:

Earlier this year, the venerable law firm long known as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy announced that it had slimmed down its title to the breezy “Milbank.”

Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, perhaps, mourned the change, but it is unlikely that many people shed a tear for another victim that fell just as surely as those three names: the “&,” also known as the ampersand.

For more than two centuries, the ampersand flourished in its preferred environment: BigLaw titles. No one can dispute that the ampersand served BigLaw well, adorning the titles of virtually all the most prestigious members of the BigLaw species. As late as the 1990s, it was nearly impossible to name a preeminent law firm that did not proudly boast an ampersand in its title.

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May 17, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Scott Turow's 'One L' To Be A TV Series

One LVariety, Adaptation of Scott Turow’s ‘One L’ in Early Development at Freeform:

A television adaptation of Scott Turow’s novel One L is in “very early” development at Freeform, Variety has learned.

The eponymous series “follows five uniquely gifted students who bond as they navigate the perils of their first year of law school and come to terms with who they want to be, while grappling with their complicated pasts,” according to the network. ...

The nonfictional One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School, was first published in 1977.

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May 17, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

ABA To Vote Tomorrow On 75% Bar Passage Accreditation Standard

Law Schools Help First-Gen Students

ABA Journal, Law School Group Helps First-Gen Law Students Get 'a Leg Up':

Some say that law school is a game, and you’re at a loss if you come in not knowing how it’s played.

“There are times when you don’t know how to associate with the people you’re associating with in the legal profession, and it can feel like a glass ceiling,” Cameron Chan, a second-year law student at Boston University, whose parents did not finish high school, told the school’s website.

He’s a member of First Generation Professionals, a law school group founded in 2017, which focuses on both mentoring and the “sometimes arcane rules of decorum,” according to the news release.

Pepperdine Law School, First Generation Students:

Pepperdine Law is excited to support students who are the first in their family to graduate from college. Through our "First Gen" initiatives, we strive to foster a community that establishes mentors, creates opportunities, and opens dialogue about what it means to be a First Gen law student.

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

Death Of Ron Hjorth (University Of Washington)


Dear UW Law Community:
It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Dean Emeritus Roland L. Hjorth, the Garvey Schubert Barer Professor of Law, on Monday, May 6. He was 83.

While I only had the pleasure to meet with Ron a few times, I know he was a treasured colleague, mentor and friend. He was a visionary leader and legal scholar, as well as recognized expert in taxation, international law and litigation. His wisdom, legendary hospitality and kindness will be greatly missed.

A celebration of life service will be held at the law school later this summer, and more details will be shared as soon as they are available. In the meantime, please send condolences and correspondence to Ron’s daughter, Heather Hjorth, by email at or by mail at 5636 NE Keswick Drive, Seattle, WA 98105-2856.

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May 16, 2019 in Legal Education, Obituaries, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

SEALS Workshops For Aspiring And Prospective Law Profs

SEALs Logo (2013)Each year, SEALS hosts a Prospective Law Teachers Workshop (PLTW), which provides intensive opportunities for VAPs, fellows, and practitioners to network and participate in mock interviews and mock job talks—prior to the actual teaching market. The Workshop also includes a luncheon and 1-on-1 sessions for candidates to receive faculty feedback on their CVs. This year’s Prospective Law Teachers Workshop will be held at Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, 2019. If you are interested in participating specifically in the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, please send your CV, and a brief statement explaining your interest, to Professor Brad Areheart. Please also indicate when you are hoping to go on the teaching market. Applications are due by June 1, 2019. Past PLTW participants have secured tenure-track appointments at an impressive array of law schools.

Separate and apart from the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, SEALS is offering a new workshop that is broader programming for anyone considering academia—even if one is earlier in the process. The Aspiring Law Teachers Workshop (ALTW) includes sessions on designing your teaching package, navigating the market as a nontraditional candidate, mapping academic opportunities, what’s in a job talk, crafting scholarship goals, the art of self-promotion, as well as a luncheon. You can peruse the programming, which will take place between Sunday, July 29-Tuesday, July 31, by searching “aspiring law teachers workshop” here.

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

Randall Kennedy: Harvard Betrays A Law Professor — And Itself

New York Times op-ed:  Harvard Betrays a Law Professor — and Itself, by Randall Kennedy (Harvard):

Misguided students believe that defending Harvey Weinstein makes Ronald Sullivan unfit to be their dean. Apparently the university agrees.

I have been a professor at Harvard University for 34 years. In that time, the school has made some mistakes. But it has never so thoroughly embarrassed itself as it did this past weekend. At the center of the controversy is Ronald Sullivan, a law professor who ran afoul of student activists enraged that he was willing to represent Harvey Weinstein.

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May 15, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

A New Growth Vision For Legal Education, Part I: Sustainable Growth Or Dead Cat Bounce?

Hilary G. Escajeda (Denver), Legal Education: A New Growth Vision Part I – The Issue: Sustainable Growth or Dead Cat Bounce? A Strategic Inflection Point Analysis, 97 Neb. L. Rev. 628 (2019):

Legal education programs now face strategic inflection points. To survive and thrive long-term, education programs must embrace entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, platforms, and customer service as the means by which to navigate through strategic inflection points. Imagination, adaptability, agility, determination, and speed will separate market leaders from laggards. Scrappy, entrepreneurial, and action-oriented programs that deliver omni-channel, lifelong knowledge and skills development solutions are the movers that will radically redefine and likely dominate the legal education industry. Slow, tradition-bound programs resistant to change are non-movers that face extinction.

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May 15, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Best LL.M. Programs

International JuristThe Best LL.M. Programs, The International Jurist (2019):

To identify the best LL.M. programs, we looked to see which schools place a premium on four key areas: the law school experience; career assistance; value; and academics. We asked the more than 150 schools with LL.M. programs for foreign attorneys to respond to a survey to offer insight into their offerings. ...

The Law School Experience.  This category looks at several factors, including whether students can work on law journals and participate in clinics, whether the school provides mentors, the number of extracurricular offerings, the level of involvement with U.S. students, networking opportunities, organized excursions and what the law school does to help LL.M. students adjust to the U.S. and the school. ...


Value. We assessed net cost, which is tuition and housing minus scholarships, and weighed that against the school’s performance in the Law School Experience category.

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May 15, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Path To Big Law Equity Partnership Is Narrowing

American Lawyer, The Path to Big Law Equity Partnership Is Narrowing:

Twenty years ago, holding the partner title at an Am Law 100 firm usually meant sharing in the firm’s profits. That’s not the case any more. A new analysis of partner numbers by ALM Intelligence shows that among the Am Law 100, the percentage of equity partners has been steadily declining since 2000. That comes even as the nation’s top-grossing firms have been seeing steady growth since the Great Recession.

American Lawyer


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

39 Law Schools Now Accept The GRE For Admissions (The Latest Are Florida International, New Hampshire, UC-Irvine)

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

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

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

Monday, May 13, 2019

Inside Harvard Law School's Zero-L Program, Inside Harvard Law School's Zero-L Program:

Harvard Law School’s incoming class of students will get a head start on their legal studies this summer. The school will soon launch the second iteration of its Zero-L program—a first-of-its kind curriculum of online courses designed to give new students some legal basics and a roadmap of what to expect once they arrive on campus.

I caught up with professor Glenn Cohen, who developed Zero-L with associate dean for strategic initiatives Jessica Soban at the direction of dean John Manning, to talk about the program and how it’s evolving after the pilot last summer. What initially struck me was that Zero-L has a very different focus than the existing pre-1L programs that I’m familiar with. Those tend to target admitted students with relatively low LSAT scores who may benefit from a legal foundation before they begin. Cohen confirmed my hunch that Zero-L didn’t come about because Harvard was worried that its new 1Ls wouldn’t be able to keep up. (Its median LSAT this year was 173. They’ll be fine.) Rather, the school hopes that the program will give new students a smoother transition into law school life. 

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May 13, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Illinois Econ Professor Resigns After He Admits Sharing Photos With Student But Denies Sex-For-Grade Allegation; Accuser Is Arrested On Related Charge

Illinois 2Chronicle of Higher Education, Student Who Accused Professor of Sex-for-Grades Harassment Is Arrested on Related Charge:

A clinical professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says the sexual-harassment investigation against him was supposed to end when he agreed to retire. The university contends the inquiry involving Joseph A. Petry remains open.

But the dispute over his employment isn’t the only puzzling development in the drama that has enveloped Petry.

This week the woman who had accused him of asking her for sex in exchange for raising her grade was criminally charged, along with another student, in a bizarre incident that involved holding another student at knifepoint. The police said Petry’s accuser, Summer S. Naqvi, deleted information from her former boyfriend’s computer and phone while her friend allegedly held a knife to the ex-boyfriend’s throat. The ex-boyfriend wasn’t physically hurt, and he told the police he believed the information Naqvi was after related to her harassment complaint against Petry. ...

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

The 50 Most-Cited Tax Articles of All Time

Jonathan H. Choi (NYU), The Most-Cited Tax Articles of All Time, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (May 11, 2019):

Summer is nearly here, and for fellow tax nerds in need of beach reads, I’ve assembled a list of the 50 most widely cited tax law journal articles. The list is inspired by (and uses the same methodology as) Fred Shapiro and Michelle Pearse’s essay, The Most-Cited Law Review Articles of All Time [110 Mich. L. Rev. 1483 (2012)]

The list below is ordered by number of citations in other law review articles, according to HeinOnline. For comparison, I also list Google Scholar citation counts, which include cites by certain non-law journals, practice publications, books, and courts. 

Most-cited tax articles of all time

  Article HeinOnline Article Cites Google Scholar Cites
1. William D. Andrews (Harvard), A Consumption-Type or Cash Flow Personal Income Tax, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 1113 (1974) 437 783
2. Louis Kaplow (Harvard) & Steven Shavell (Harvard), Why the Legal System Is Less Efficient than the Income Tax in Redistributing Income, 23 J. Legal Stud. 667 (1994) 305 687
3. Boris I. Bittker (Yale), A Comprehensive Tax Base as a Goal of Income Tax Reform, 80 Harv. L. Rev. 925 (1967) 298 464
4. Boris I. Bittker (Yale), Federal Income Taxation and the Family, 27 Stan. L. Rev. 1389 (1975) 284 438
5. Joseph Bankman (Stanford) & Thomas Griffith (USC), Social Welfare and the Rate Structure: A New Look at Progressive Taxation, 75 Cal. L. Rev. 1905 (1987) 227 352
6. Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Globalization, Tax Competition, and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 1573 (2000) 226 748
7. William T. Plumb, Jr. (Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D.C.), The Federal Income Tax Significance of Corporate Debt: A Critical Analysis and a Proposal, 26 Tax L. Rev. 369 (1971) 208 355
8. Walter J. Blum (Chicago) & Harry Kalven, Jr. (Chicago), The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation, 19 U. Chi. L. Rev. 417 (1952) 200 418
9. Peter D. Enrich (Northeastern), Saving the States from Themselves: Commerce Clause Constraints on State Tax Incentives for Business, 110 Harv. L. Rev. 377 (1996) 193 371
10. Michael J. Graetz (Columbia), To Praise the Estate Tax, Not to Bury It, 93 Yale L.J. 259 (1983) 185 264
11. Erwin N. Griswold (Harvard), The Need for a Court of Tax Appeals, 57 Harv. L. Rev. 1153 (1944) 185 240
12. Mark G. Kelman (Stanford), Personal Deductions Revisited: Why They Fit Poorly in an Ideal Income Tax and Why They Fit Worse in a Far from Ideal World, 31 Stan. L. Rev. 831 (1979) 177 248
13. Daniel I. Halperin (Harvard), Interest in Disguise: Taxing the Time Value of Money, 95 Yale L.J. 506 (1986) 168 259
14. Joseph T. Sneed (Stanford), The Criteria of Federal Income Tax Policy, 17 Stan. L. Rev. 567 (1965) 164 211
15. Michael J. Graetz (Columbia) & Michael M. O’Hear (Marquette), The “Original Intent” of U.S. International Taxation, 46 Duke L.J. 1021 (1997) 162 345
16. Eric A. Posner (Chicago), Law and Social Norms: The Case of Tax Compliance, 86 Va. L. Rev. 1781 (2000) 155 403
17. David A. Weisbach (Chicago) & Jacob Nussim (Bar-Ilan), The Integration of Tax and Spending Programs, 113 Yale L.J. 955 (2004) 150 245
18. Marjorie E. Kornhauser (Tulane), The Rhetoric of the Anti-Progressive Income Tax Movement: A Typical Male Reaction, 86 Mich. L. Rev. 465 (1987) 146 214
19. R.A. Musgrave (Harvard), In Defense of an Income Concept, 81 Harv. L. Rev. 44 (1967) 140 228
20. Marjorie E. Kornhauser (Tulane), Love, Money, and the IRS: Family, Income-Sharing, and the Joint Income Tax Return, 45 Hastings L.J. 63 (1993) 139 216
21. Paul L. Caron (Pepperdine), Tax Myopia, or Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Tax Lawyers, 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517 (1994) 137 155
22. Richard L. Doernberg (Emory) & Fred S. McChesney (Emory), On the Accelerating Rate and Decreasing Durability of Tax Reform, 71 Minn. L. Rev. 913 (1987) 136 183
23. Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan), The Structure of International Taxation: A Proposal for Simplification, 74 Tex. L. Rev. 1301 (1996) 129 285
24. Anne L. Alstott (Yale), Tax Policy and Feminism: Competing Goals and Institutional Choices, 96 Colum. L. Rev. 2001 (1996) 129 192
25. Stanley S. Surrey (Harvard), Federal Taxation of the Family—The Revenue Act of 1948, 61 Harv. L. Rev. 1097 (1948) 127 218

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May 13, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings | Permalink | Comments (5)

Private College Tuition Discount Rate Hits All-Time High Of 52%

2018 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study:

In the 2018 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, 405 private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported an estimated 52.2 percent institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time students in 2018-19 and 46.3 percent for all undergraduates – both record highs. This means that for every dollar in gross tuition and fee revenue collected from all students, institutions used nearly half for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and fellowships.


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

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 12, 2019

More On The ABA Law School Employment Data

Following up on my previous posts on the new ABA law school employment data (links below):

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Ranking Law School Employment Outcomes by Term and Type:

In this installment, I look at the quality of employment "terms" and "types" as the ABA categorizes them. Employment "terms" are part-time versus full-time and long-term versus short-term. Employment "types" are the various types of employers, such as law firms with 501+ lawyers, solo practice, federal judicial clerkships, etc. This allows a comparison of the quality of the various categories of employment as they are reported to the ABA.

The table below shows the ranking from best outcomes to worst outcomes for the most common types and terms ...

Here are the five best outcomes under Rob's methodology:


Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Ranking Law Schools by "JD Advantage" Jobs:

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

Snow-mencement At The University Of Colorado

Saturday, May 11, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Ian Samuel Resigns From Indiana Law Faculty Following Title IX Investigation

SamuelIan Samuel, Associate Professor Of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, resigned yesterday and posted this letter on his Twitter account:

Dear Provost Robel,

Last fall, the university opened a Title IX investigation in which I was the responding party.

Since then, I’ve kept quiet in public, and I’ve done everything I can to cooperate with the university’s process. But the investigation is done now, and for the reasons I’ll explain in this letter, I hereby resign my appointment as an associate professor, effective at the close of business today. I’m choosing to forgo procedural rights that might (though I doubt it) preserve my job if I fought to the Pyrrhic end, because the academic year is over and it’s time for this process to be over, too.

Why? Well, I don’t think I’m breaching any confidences by saying that the allegations in this case describe me drinking to excess in a public place I shouldn’t have been, in company I shouldn’t have kept, and treating the people present in ways they didn’t deserve. Those behaviors are totally inconsistent with what any university expects of its faculty, of course, but it’s more than that. When the investigation began, a few people I trust suggested that maybe it was time to take a hard look at my life. They were right. Once I was ready to be honest with myself, I had to admit that the night in question was the clearest sign yet of a problem that had been growing for some time, and which was going to keep growing as long as I kept ignoring it. Although that admission didn’t solve any- thing by itself, it did beat denial.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Judge Rules Wendi Adelson Need Not Give Defense Deposition, Denies Continuance In Dan Markel Murder Trial

Adelson (2019)Tallahassee Democrat, Judge: Wendi Adelson Doesn't Have to Give Defense Deposition:

A Leon Circuit judge upheld a protective order asking that Wendi Adelson not be required to give a deposition by the defense team of a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband Dan Markel.

The attorneys for Katherine Magbanua asked that they be allowed to question Adelson prior to the June trial or that that her testimony be excluded in full at trial. Magbanua’s attorneys contended Adelson cannot flatly invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination but could choose to on a question-by-question basis.

But Judge James C. Hankinson disagreed, granting Adelson the right to defer the defense subpoena.

Adelson, through her attorney John Lauro, asserted her right after being subpoenaed April 19 for a deposition by the defense team of Magbanua, who is accused of being the go-between Adelson's family and a pair of hit men.

Lauro last week filed the motion saying Adelson intends to testify only at trial, where a government subpoena would offer her immunity. ...

Hankinson also denied a motion filed earlier this week by Magbanua's team asking for a continuance.

Tallahassee Democrat, One Continuance in Dan Markel Trial Denied, Another Still in Limbo

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May 10, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Loyola-L.A. Launches Online Tax Program

Loyola-L.A. Logo (2013)Loyola Law School’s New Online Tax Program to Provide Nationwide Access to its Rigorous Tax Law Training:

LMU's Loyola Law School is launching an online version of its highly ranked Graduate Tax curriculum. The new custom-built online courses will make Loyola’s distinctive approach to rigorous tax law training available to Tax LLM, Master of Tax Law and JD students nationwide beginning in August 2019.

Based on U.S. News survey data and TaxProf Blog’s ranking methodology, Loyola will immediately become the third-ranked online tax law provider in the United States.

Unlike other similarly ranked programs, which generally offer only recorded versions of live classes, Loyola’s courses will be designed specifically for online students, deploying cutting-edge technology to be as interactive, engaging and educationally effective as possible.

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

Pepperdine Hosts International Conference For Dispute Resolution Teachers, Scholars, And Leaders


The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School, ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for 13 of the past 15th years, will host a landmark conference on June 18-19, 2019: Appreciating Our Legacy and Engaging the Future: An International Conference for Dispute Resolution Teachers, Scholars, and Leaders. Participants will compare perspectives on four decades of change in managing and resolving conflict.

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

Thursday, May 9, 2019

California Mulls Crackdown On Online Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed, California Mulls Crackdown on Online Partnerships:

State lawmakers in California have proposed seven interrelated bills that would tighten regulation of for-profit and private colleges.

The goal of the legislative package, bill sponsors say, is to make colleges put student success before profit — and to ensure that fewer students are saddled with debt and low-paying jobs. ...

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

Nearly 1/3 of Young Florida Lawyers Would Not Go Law School If They Could Go Back In Time

Daily Business Review, 58% of Young Lawyers Think Legal Profession Is 'Less Desirable', Bar Survey Finds:

Young Florida attorneys are finding their legal careers fall short of the expectations they’d had of the profession.

A new study showed nearly one-third of fledgling lawyers would not apply for law school knowing what they now do about the field, many take little or no vacation, and 58% of respondents have considered changing careers, switching to a different firm or practice, and feel the legal work is becoming “less desirable.”


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

Law Grads Hiring Report: Job Stats For The Class of 2018, Law Grads Hiring Report: Job Stats for the Class of 2018:

The J.D. Class of 2018 enjoyed the strongest entry-level legal job market in a decade, with 78.6% landing jobs that require a law degree or for which a law degree offers an advantage within 10 months of leaving campus—up from 75.3% the previous year.

But graduate employment rates fluctuated wildly among law schools, so has delved into the trove of jobs data released in late April by the American Bar Association to determine how schools performed in 10 different areas.

  • full-time, long-term J.D-required
  • full-time, long-term J.D-required and J.D.-advantage
  • large firms
  • federal clerkships
  • elite (large firm and federal clerkships)
  • state and local clerkships
  • government and public interest
  • school-funded
  • underemployed (unemployed, temporary, part-time, or non-professional)
  • unemployed


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

High School Senior Admitted To All 115 Colleges She Applied To, With $3.7 Million In Scholarship Offers

YolandaTimes-Picayune, New Orleans Teen Gets 115 College Acceptance Letters:

When Antoinette Love was born six weeks prematurely to Anthony and Yolanda Love, all her mother wanted was for Love to live. The New Orleans native only weighed 4.4 pounds, but she eventually left the hospital 23 days later.

Years later, Love blew past another milestone: Acceptance into 115 colleges and universities nationwide.

Love, a senior at the International High School of New Orleans, applied to and was unanimously accepted at 115 schools across the country, according to her school. Her efforts also resulted in more than $3.7 million in offered scholarships. Love is determined to become an educator and wants to major in elementary education beginning this fall, her mother [Yolanda] said by phone. ...

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May 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (18)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

AAUP: Vermont Violated Shared Governance In Detenuring 14 Of 19 Law Profs To Close $2 Million Budget Gap 

Vermont Law School Logo (2018)Following up on my previous post, AAUP Investigates Vermont Law School's Tenure Revocation From 14 Of 19 Faculty:

AAUP, College and University Governance: Vermont Law School:

Based on our investigation of the events that led to the detenuring of fourteen of the nineteen tenured faculty members in spring 2018, this investigating committee finds that the administration of Vermont Law School violated the standards set forth in the AAUP’s Statement on Government and derivative Association documents and that unacceptable conditions of academic governance prevail at the institution. Contrary to the assertions of some administrators and faculty members, we did not consider this a “foregone conclusion” when we began our investigation. Indeed, we acknowledge that the administration did take many steps to comply minimally with certain Association-supported standards. It consistently asked faculty members for suggestions and made a compel­ling case for why some faculty members, for the good of the school, should volunteer for early retirement. We appreciate that Dean McHenry communicated the gravity of VLS’s financial position early in the restructuring process. And we recognize that some remaining VLS faculty members still feel that they have the freedom to teach and research as they wish and that non-tenure-track faculty members have historically participated in shared governance at VLS.

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