Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Before the Pandemic, They Were Anonymous. Now They’re the Best Leaders We Have., by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassAs the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, a funny thing is happening. The leaders who have distinguished themselves under pressure are rarely the bold, charismatic, impulsive, self-regarding, politically calculating alphas we’ve elected. The real heroes have been, for lack of a better term, career deputies [e.g., Chen Chien-jen (Taiwan), Jung Eun-kyeong (South Korea), Anthony Fauci (United States), Jenny Harries (Britain), Mutahi Kagwe (Kenya)]. ...

These examples, and many others, point to one underlying theme. In a crisis, nobody cares how big your personality is or how disruptive you can be. The leaders we crave are the ones who show up every day, never stop to think of themselves and, above all, seem to know what they’re talking about.

The obvious question is this: If these deputies are such capable leaders, why are they deputies? ...

[In Covid-19 Was A Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative.,] I wrote about one possible explanation. While all leaders are judged by how well they respond to a crisis, the true mark of greatness is what a leader does between emergencies. The best ones never rest; they work behind the scenes, without bravado, to prevent the next crisis from happening. When they succeed, however, they literally have nothing to show for it. They don’t project boldness. They seem like drab worriers.

Acting With PowerThe bigger problem, I’d argue, is that too many talented and qualified leadership candidates are reluctant to step forward. They need to be pushed. Case in point: one of America’s most beloved and effective presidents, Dwight Eisenhower, had to be cajoled into running.

Researchers haven’t found any evidence that people with a burning desire to lead make better leaders, but they’re far more likely to acquire power.

Deborah Gruenfeld, a professor at Stanford’s business school and author of a new book, Acting with Power (full disclosure: My wife is her agent), has spent 25 years studying the psychology of power.

She divides leaders into two camps: those who pursue authority to serve themselves and those who see it as a means to serve others. In many cases, candidates with a “service” mind-set are uncomfortable promoting their candidacies, while those who seek power for personal gratification love nothing more.

Over time, and especially in the age of social media, the expectations we’ve heaped on high-profile leaders have made it nearly impossible for anyone to meet them all. Those of us who crave power may not care, Dr. Gruenfeld says, but servant types may back out for fear of letting others down.

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April 9, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chemerinsky & Mnookin: The Case For Provisional Bar Licenses In The Coronavirus Pandemic

Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley) & Jennifer Mnookin (Dean, UCLA), Making the Case for Provisional Bar Licenses in the Coronavirus Pandemic (National Law Journal):

CoronavirusAs some states have already recognized, the July bar exam will almost certainly not take place this summer as scheduled. The best path forward is for states, at a minimum, to accord two-year provisional licenses to practice law to law school graduates, on condition that they practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

[T]here’s a straightforward solution: provisional licenses, allowing those who graduated from law school in the last year and who were scheduled to take the July 2020 bar exam, to practice law for a defined — and relatively limited — period, such as until the July 2022 bar exam releases its results. To ensure competence from these new lawyers, there should be a requirement that the individuals be supervised by attorneys who are admitted to the bar. States could, if they wished, limit provisional licenses to those who meet the character and fitness requirements for admission to the bar.

In fact, Arizona and New Jersey have both just announced the possibility of provisional licensing for recent graduates in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. These approaches are a good start, but they are, in our view, too narrowly defined. Both states envision that provisional licensees would generally need to take the next available bar exam or lose their limited license. Far better, in the wake of this crisis, to permit these provisional licenses for a longer period such as two years. That would permit these graduates to launch their careers and allow them a reasonable degree of agency and control over when it makes professional and logistical sense to study for and take the bar.

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April 9, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Indiana Allows 2020 Law Grads To Serve As Graduate Legal Interns And Take February 2021 Bar Exam

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  In the Matter of Graduate Legal Interns During COVID-19 Pandemic (Indiana Supreme Court Case No. 20S-MS-249 Apr. 8, 2020):

Indiana Bar Association 3As a result of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear whether the State Board of Law Examiners will be able to administer the Indiana bar examination in July 2020 as scheduled or at any later date in calendar year 2020. In addition, the disruptions to personal and professional lives caused by the pandemic may result in some prospective applicants not having the financial resources or sufficient time to prepare and sit for an Indiana bar examination in 2020 whether administered in July or later in the year. The National Conference of Bar Examiners will announce its plan for the multistate portions of the bar examination on or about May 5, 2020. The Court will announce its plan for the administration of the bar examination by May 8, 2020.

The Supreme Court therefore ORDERS that any graduate of an ABA accredited law school who graduated after November 2019, and has not sat for a bar examination in Indiana or any other jurisdiction prior to February 2021, may serve as a graduate legal intern under Admission and Discipline Rule 2.1, Section 1(b) until February 28, 2021. If the graduate sits for the February 2021 Indiana bar examination, the graduate’s status as a graduate legal intern will continue until notified of the results of the examination. If the graduate passes the examination, the status continues until the first opportunity thereafter for formal admission to the Bar of Indiana. If the graduate fails the examination, the status ends once the determination of failure is final after exhausting any appeals. Further adjustments and arrangements may be forthcoming as circumstances warrant.

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April 9, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Caruso Law Hosts 6th Annual Parris Awards

Parris Awards
We held our sixth annual Parris Awards today via Zoom. For a list of the winners (and the faculty presenters), see here.

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April 9, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Barros: Timing Of The Bar Exam: — A Billion Dollar Issue In The COVID-19 Crisis And Beyond

D. Benjamin Barros (Dean. Toledo), Timing of the Bar Exam:  A Billion Dollar Issue in the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond:

CoronavirusSix weeks ago, the timing of the bar exam was an important, but still somewhat abstract, issue. Now, every jurisdiction in the United States is being forced to consider this issue in the context of the largest public health crisis of our lifetimes. The short-term issues being considered now are different from the long-term issues that I addressed in the original version of the op-ed. The core point, however, remains the same. Jurisdictions should consider the massive opportunity costs imposed on candidates by a delay in the bar exam. ...

New York and Massachusetts have announced that they will not hold bar exams in July. Both contemplate holding the exam later in the fall. These decisions are understandable from a public health perspective. Even a delay of a few months, however, will be devastating for test takers. If every jurisdiction merely delayed the bar exam by three months, bar candidates nationwide would lose hundreds of millions of dollars in lost income. Taking these opportunity costs seriously should lead jurisdictions to take a very hard look at alternatives that make them uncomfortable. The COVID-19 crisis has put us in a position where every alternative has major downsides. We need to look for the least-bad alternative.

A group of legal academics and other experts has put together a thoughtful list of options [The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action]. None are perfect. From an opportunity cost perspective, postponement, standing alone, is unacceptable. Other alternatives fall into two broad categories.

The first is to find a way for recent graduates to be employed and to practice, at least temporarily, without having taken the bar exam, by giving graduates some kind of diploma privilege or allowing them to practice under supervision of a licensed attorney.

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April 8, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Facilitating Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools (Part 2)

Following up on my previous post, Facilitating Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools:  Patrick H. Gaughan (Akron) & Samantha J. Prince (Penn State), Facilitating Distinctive and Meaningful Change Within U.S. Law Schools (Part 2): Pursuing Successful Plan Implementation Through Better Resource Management, 18 U.N.H. L. Rev. 173 (2020):

In Part 1 of this series, one of the current authors used institutional theory, behavioral economics, and psychology to explain why U.S. law schools have had difficulty evolving faster and better. The author then used institutional entrepreneurship to propose a seven-step, faculty-led, operational change process designed to overcome institutional isomorphism and to enable each law school to formulate a distinctive, meaningful, strategic plan.

Process for Meaningful Change

In Part 2, the current article addresses the typical implementation challenges to be expected within the context of existing law school governance.

The article begins by discussing the Resource Based View of the firm and the role of resource management in achieving competitive advantages. These considerations lay the foundation for the critical role of faculty engagement and law school leadership in successful strategic plan implementation. Next, within this context, the article discusses four questions whose answers may foreshadow implementation problems. Lastly, the article discusses the results of several Monte Carlo Simulations. The simulations provide insight into the likely performance problems caused by faculty misaligned with, or disengaged from, their law school’s strategic goals. The results suggest that even minimal faculty misalignment can have a significant deleterious effect on the ability of a given law school to achieve any distinctive position.

All told, the article concludes that U.S. law schools can successfully implement distinctive and meaningful strategic plans within existing shared governance structures. However, success will be difficult to achieve. It requires the full engagement and leadership by both the faculty and the Dean, sustained operational support for strategic change, and the active management of law school resources.

April 8, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings v. Overall Rankings

Following up on yesterday's post, 2021 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings:

Here are the law schools whose U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Ranking most exceeds their overall U.S. News Ranking:

  School Specialty Rank Overall Rank Difference
1 Suffolk 75 136 +61
2 American 18 76 +58
3 Seattle 72 129 +57
4 Pacific 94 148 +54
5 UIC-John Marshall 97 140 +43
6 Brooklyn 47 83 +36
6 Indiana (McKinney) 86 122 +36
6 UC-Hastings 23 59 +36
9 Denver 40 74 +34
9 Pace 102 136 +34
11 New York Law School 98 129 +31
12 Baltimore 96 126 +30
12 Santa Clara 77 107 +30
14 Chicago-Kent 54 83 +29
14 Mitchell Hamline 112 141 +29
16 Case Western 50 76 +26
16 DePaul 92 118 +26
18 Georgia State 51 76 +25
18 Loyola-New Orleans 101 126 +25
20 Loyola-L.A. 38 62 +24
20 Missouri (KC) 109 133 +24
22 Arkansas (Little Rock) 125 148 +23
23 Widener (DE) 126 148 +22
24 San Francisco 127 148 +21
24 Syracuse 90 111 +21
24 Temple 35 56 +21
27 Howard 87 107 +20
28 Rutgers 58 76 +18
29 Hofstra 85 102 +17
30 Ohio State 22 38 +16
30 South Carolina 80 96 +16
30 UC-Irvine 11 27 +16
33 Loyola-Chicago 55 70 +15
33 Miami 52 67 +15
35 Lewis & Clark 79 93 +14
35 Maryland 33 47 +14
35 Oregon 74 88 +14
35 San Diego 69 83 +14
35 Stetson 91 105 +14
40 Georgetown 1 14 +13
40 Golden Gate 135 148 +13
40 Vermont 128 141 +13
43 Houston 45 56 +11
44 George Washington 13 23 +10
44 New Mexico 89 99 +10
46 Drexel 84 93 +9
46 Southwestern 139 148 +9
46 Texas 7 16 +9
46 UNLV 53 62 +9
50 Fordham 19 27 +8
50 UC-Davis 30 38 +8
50 Willamette 133 141 +8

Here are the law schools whose U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Ranking most trails their overall U.S. News Ranking:

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April 8, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

July Bar Exam Update: ABA, Arizona, California, Florida, Tennessee, Vermont

Following up on my previous posts (links below):

CoronavirusABA Urges States That Cancel Bar Exams Due to COVID-19 to Consider Alternatives For Law Grads:

The American Bar Association Board of Governors approved a policy resolution late today that urges state licensing authorities to immediately adopt emergency rules that would authorize 2019 and 2020 law graduates who cannot take a bar exam because of the pandemic to engage in a limited practice of law under certain circumstances.

ABA Journal, ABA Board of Governors Backs Limited Practice for Recent Law School Grads as They Await Bar Exam

Supreme Court of Arizona:

Although some states have already postponed the July exam, we are currently planning to proceed with it. ... If it becomes necessary to postpone the July exam, we anticipate rescheduling in September or October of 2020. If it is not safe to give the test then, the exam will be cancelled. ...

Finally, we recognize that any delay in licensing could impact employment opportunities. For that reason, the Court has promulgated, on an emergency basis, amendments to Arizona Supreme Court Rule 39(c). Rule 39(c) will permit law graduates to practice law, with limitations, under the supervision of an attorney and upon certification by this Court.

Committee of Bar Examiners Special Meeting on Apr. 10, 2020:

Action regarding Preparation and Administration of the June 2020 First-Year Law Students’ Examination and July 2020 California Bar Exam

Board of Trustees Meeting Notice and Agenda on Apr.14, 2020:

Consideration of Options for Preparation and Administration of the June 2020 First-Year Law Students' Examination and July 2020 California Bar Exam

Letter From All 12 Florida Law School Deans to Florida Supreme Court:

We propose that the existing Certified Legal Intern (CLI) program be expanded to permit candidates
who clear character and fitness investigation to practice law under supervision until they have the opportunity to pass the bar exam. ...

Should the Court decide not to expand the Certified Legal Intern program, we would ask that it consider allowing members of the Class of 2020 who successfully complete a period of supervised practice to seek admission to the bar without sitting for the bar examination.

Daily Business Review, Florida's Law School Deans Ask State Supreme Court to Offer September Bar Exam

Supreme Court Modifies Certain Provisions of Rule 7 Related to July 2020 Bar Exam

The Tennessee Supreme Court entered an Order today approving temporary changes to provisions of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 to address ongoing concerns with the July 2020 bar exam in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bar exam is currently scheduled for July 28-29 and the Order provides some assurance to applicants.

The Court has extended the amount of time certain applicants will be able to practice pending bar examination results and the expiration of MPRE scores. Additionally, the Court has established a process for transfer of a July 2020 examination application to either a fall exam, if one is scheduled, or the February 2021 exam and has permitted the Board to offer a full refund of fees.

Administrative Order No. 49: Declaration of Judicial Emergency and Changes to Court Procedures:

The bar examination, currently scheduled by the NCBE for July 2020, will not be administered in Vermont at that time and is postponed to a later date.

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April 8, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

LSAC Cancels April LSAT, To Offer At Home Remotely Proctored May LSAT

LSAC, Coronavirus and the LSAT:

CoronavirusThe continued devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus on communities throughout North America, and the growing restrictions on travel and public gatherings have led us to reluctantly conclude that we cannot administer the April 2020 LSAT, even in smaller groups with strict candidate separation and other health and safety measures. Given the intense candidate interest in testing this spring for the fall 2020 admission cycle, we had been working to preserve every possible opportunity to deliver the April test in at least some locations with appropriate health and safety measures. While the ongoing restrictions on travel and public gatherings make that impossible, we have been working hard to develop alternatives.

In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, we will be offering an online, remotely proctored version of the LSAT — called the LSAT-Flex — in the second half of May for test takers who were registered for the April test. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and will make other LSAT-Flex test dates available this spring and summer if the situation warrants. We plan to resume the in-person LSAT once conditions allow, in strict accordance with public health authorities and using all necessary health and safety measures. In the meantime, the remotely proctored LSAT-Flex will provide candidates with the opportunity to earn an LSAT score even if the COVID-19 crisis makes it impossible to deliver the test in-person.

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April 8, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Call For Papers: St. Louis Law Journal Symposium On Teaching Law Online

The Saint Louis University Law Journal is proud to announce the twenty-second installment of the Journal’s Teaching series, Teaching Law Online.

St. Louis (2016)The Journal created the Teaching series in 2000 as a forum for scholars, judges, and practitioners to discuss key topics and methods of teaching legal subjects.  Since then, the Journal has published a teaching issue annually, such as Teaching Civil Procedure (47:1), Teaching Constitutional Law (49:3), Teaching Federal Courts (53:3), and our forthcoming issue, Teaching Property (64:3). 

Our Teaching Law Online issue, in line with our past issues, will include articles by prominent scholars and practitioners, sharing their thoughts on teaching legal subjects remotely, a topic that is especially relevant in the rapid transition to remote learning that has occurred this semester in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We hope to represent teachers with all levels of experience teaching legal subjects online, and we welcome submissions on any subject matter within the context of remote and online learning.

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April 7, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: One Final Step For 52 Medical Students, Eager To Join The Fight Against COVID-19

My daughter Jayne (pictured in the lower right box above) is one of the 52 students featured in this New York Times article, One Final Step for 52 Medical Students, Eager to Join the Fight:

In a stirring, ragged ritual, the students took their oaths as new doctors early, volunteering in the war against Covid-19.

From dorm rooms and apartments, 52 medical students watched video of themselves roll across their screens. Miles away, their proud families followed online. Gazing into webcams, the students pledged the Hippocratic oath in frayed unison, dozens of different starts and voices, all coming to the same point.

They could get on with doctoring.

On Friday, a virtual graduation was held over video chat for nearly half the 2020 class at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine. They were two months ahead of schedule. That moment will be repeated in some form at other medical schools in the coming days.

The more ragged the ritual, the more soul-stirring its core: Young people were stepping up to join others already serving at an hour of crisis, little different than soldiers being deployed in war. ...

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April 7, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 U.S. News Omnibus Specialty Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings include the rankings for 13 specialty programs at 194 law schools. Here are the Top 100 law schools, determined by giving equal weight to each of the 13 separate specialty rankings:

  1. Business/Corporate Law
  2. Clinical Law
  3. Constitutional Law
  4. Contracts/Commercial Law
  5. Criminal Law
  6. Dispute Resolution 
  7. Environmental Law
  8. Health Care Law
  9. Intellectual Property Law
  10. International Law
  11. Legal Writing
  12. Tax Law
  13. Trial Advocacy

  School 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Avg.
1 Georgetown 8 1 9 13 5 25 10 7 13 3 12 2 12 9.2
2 NYU 3 2 5 3 1 16 6 48 3 1 76 1 31 15.1
3 Stanford 5 8 3 6 1 18 10 5 2 9 92 7 44 16.2
4 Michigan 12 8 13 8 10 37 37 19 13 7 12 11 59 18.9
5 Northwestern 12 6 13 13 16 6 49 48 21 21 24 3 19 19.3
6 UC-Berkeley 4 8 7 3 3 32 1 29 1 11 127 23 15 20.3
7 Texas 17 32 11 8 17 16 26 19 18 14 44 15 36 21.0
8 Harvard 1 22 2 3 3 1 10 9 18 2 167 7 36 21.6
9 UCLA 8 27 13 11 10 25 4 32 25 17 101 5 23 23.2
10 Duke 12 54 9 15 10 25 19 25 12 9 44 18 78 25.4
11 UC-Irvine 37 8 19 29 17 22 33 40 25 25 11 11 65 26.3
12 Penn 6 27 11 6 6 32 41 22 8 14 101 15 78 28.2
13 George Washington 30 22 25 34 22 44 15 32 5 8 44 42 50 28.7
14 Washington Univ. 26 14 19 21 26 25 73 29 45 17 51 23 12 29.3
15 Virginia 8 82 7 11 6 18 26 46 31 11 76 5 78 31.2
16 Columbia 1 20 5 1 6 37 6 46 13 4 154 10 105 31.4
17 Yale 8 5 1 8 6 37 20 16 62 4 167 11 65 31.5
18 American 68 2 44 51 26 48 37 11 10 4 51 55 4 31.6
19 Fordham 17 17 25 23 17 13 63 93 21 21 101 32 9 34.8
20 Boston University 19 32 19 18 30 56 55 5 10 32 51 21 105 34.8
21 North Carolina 26 44 25 18 22 48 37 22 55 46 7 26 78 34.9
22 Ohio State 37 69 28 23 15 2 55 29 40 43 38 32 44 35.0
23 UC-Hastings 37 27 44 46 33 13 20 13 45 28 114 23 20 35.6
24 Cornell 16 44 13 15 17 22 41 71 40 13 70 42 65 36.1
25 Minnesota 19 32 19 21 22 78 20 19 40 25 76 26 78 36.5
26 Vanderbilt 12 61 17 17 10 32 17 25 25 14 136 48 65 36.8
27 Arizona State 52 61 38 51 33 10 20 22 51 25 7 37 78 37.3
28 Emory 26 69 28 23 33 56 49 40 36 40 44 48 23 39.6
29 Boston College 26 27 31 29 43 48 33 48 31 40 38 18 105 39.8
30 UC-Davis 23 54 19 23 22 25 20 54 36 32 136 26 50 40.0
31 Chicago 7 22 4 1 10 48 63 71 40 17 154 7 78 40.2
32 Indiana (Maurer) 23 82 44 23 43 56 31 40 21 28 51 20 78 41.5
33 Maryland 61 6 44 46 57 13 10 7 79 69 63 63 31 42.2
34 William & Mary 37 61 19 29 17 18 41 48 45 32 101 63 44 42.7
35 Temple 52 86 59 59 53 25 85 17 71 17 12 37 2 44.2
36 Notre Dame 37 44 18 34 43 56 55 102 25 28 76 45 25 45.2
37 Wisconsin 48 44 38 29 33 37 41 40 79 32 51 55 78 46.5
38 Loyola-L.A. 48 69 54 63 33 67 85 48 31 57 44 11 5 47.3
39 Florida 37 82 67 39 33 37 20 61 71 69 76 3 25 47.7
40 Denver 68 8 59 63 43 56 26 93 79 52 7 63 9 48.2
41 Washington 61 44 59 39 43 99 31 32 18 43 51 42 65 48.2
42 Arizona 59 61 38 46 57 86 33 32 55 36 24 68 50 49.6
42 Colorado 30 96 44 51 30 72 10 71 25 52 51 63 50 49.6
42 Georgia 23 32 31 39 33 99 85 40 71 21 101 45 25 49.6
45 Houston 59 69 71 34 64 99 26 3 5 46 101 26 44 49.8
46 Wake Forest 37 86 54 39 29 99 41 17 95 69 6 55 25 50.2
47 Brooklyn 30 32 35 34 26 72 106 90 62 46 32 48 59 51.7
48 Tulane 37 39 54 34 53 37 17 61 62 28 148 63 44 52.1
49 USC 22 82 31 18 33 32 96 48 55 46 114 15 96 52.9
50 Case Western 61 44 59 51 64 67 55 9 40 24 92 98 50 54.9
51 Georgia State 52 27 44 86 57 56 85 2 62 98 92 55 25 57.0
52 Miami 52 32 59 46 53 78 55 93 55 36 101 26 59 57.3
53 UNLV 78 39 69 51 68 6 85 32 62 106 1 48 105 57.7
54 Chicago-Kent 52 86 54 72 74 86 85 54 13 75 32 75 5 58.7
55 Loyola-Chicago 75 54 59 72 82 56 126 3 45 69 76 48 12 59.8
55 Washington & Lee 52 69 44 51 43 44 79 40 90 36 101 32 96 59.8
57 Cardozo 52 61 38 59 30 5 106 114 13 75 114 48 65 60.0
58 Rutgers 83 22 59 81 57 83 63 54 85 52 18 80 59 61.2
59 Florida State 48 96 44 39 53 99 15 54 79 62 136 37 36 61.4
60 Utah 30 106 44 39 33 99 9 32 71 62 136 55 121 64.4
61 Texas A&M 68 54 111 69 119 6 37 102 8 62 29 75 105 65.0
62 Pepperdine 61 39 44 59 91 3 96 114 100 46 114 37 50 65.7
63 Iowa 30 86 38 46 43 99 106 78 62 57 51 68 105 66.8
64 Northeastern 113 22 71 107 57 48 106 11 21 62 38 110 105 67.0
65 Villanova 78 69 83 86 74 90 79 61 45 91 29 37 50 67.1
66 Alabama 61 61 31 29 43 99 63 102 100 98 127 32 31 67.5
67 Illinois 30 117 35 23 33 93 79 90 51 83 101 45 105 68.1
68 SMU 68 61 71 69 43 72 96 61 55 46 136 48 65 68.5
69 San Diego 30 121 28 72 57 99 79 71 31 62 166 21 59 68.9
70 BYU 19 136 54 39 68 67 55 144 55 75 76 32 96 70.5
71 Pittsburgh 75 121 69 69 57 99 85 32 51 43 76 26 131 71.8
72 Seattle 83 20 71 107 91 99 79 78 62 91 3 80 78 72.5
73 Seton Hall 83 69 71 81 82 67 116 13 71 57 92 68 78 72.9
74 Oregon 61 121 71 63 74 10 6 144 100 98 2 68 131 73.0
75 Suffolk 95 14 136 116 111 22 96 61 45 106 5 132 20 73.8
76 Richmond 37 121 35 63 43 99 63 144 25 69 101 55 105 73.8
77 Santa Clara 75 121 93 98 91 44 55 102 4 40 44 68 131 74.3
78 Tennessee 37 17 83 63 74 99 106 78 123 118 32 75 65 74.6
79 Lewis & Clark 95 86 71 107 91 48 1 122 55 69 18 92 121 75.1
80 South Carolina 83 39 93 86 74 99 63 61 114 106 70 55 36 75.3
81 Kansas 78 86 83 51 68 25 63 122 100 91 51 80 121 78.4
82 St. John's 68 117 71 72 74 37 152 102 71 57 32 132 36 78.5
83 Connecticut 61 96 59 59 82 72 63 61 108 57 76 68 160 78.6
84 Drexel 78 54 71 98 100 83 130 32 108 103 18 132 15 78.6
85 Hofstra 92 69 83 90 68 93 130 61 95 62 76 89 36 80.3
86 Indiana (McKinney) 95 86 83 81 111 99 85 15 85 83 24 98 121 82.0
87 Howard 92 44 71 72 64 67 143 122 62 106 63 120 59 83.5
88 Michigan State 68 86 83 63 91 93 96 114 71 75 101 98 65 84.9
89 New Mexico 113 17 111 81 100 99 33 78 137 106 70 92 78 85.8
90 Syracuse 95 96 111 98 100 99 73 78 85 83 76 110 15 86.1
91 Stetson 95 96 111 72 100 72 106 122 137 106 3 110 1 87.0
92 DePaul 95 106 93 98 82 97 152 25 36 91 92 92 78 87.5
93 George Mason 48 155 38 51 74 99 136 114 31 75 148 80 105 88.8
94 Pacific 106 136 146 98 125 56 73 102 114 36 32 126 9 89.2
95 Missouri (Columbia) 88 127 83 72 82 3 136 90 90 91 136 98 65 89.3
96 Baltimore 123 14 93 120 100 78 116 122 95 75 38 75 149 92.2
97 UIC-John Marshall 135 69 136 148 111 90 152 122 36 75 7 98 36 93.5
98 New York Law School 95 54 93 156 100 78 136 78 62 83 38 98 145 93.5
99 St. Louis 88 86 71 90 100 99 159 1 90 98 127 80 131 93.8
100 Marquette 88 127 93 90 91 10 126 144 79 118 12 126 121 94.2

If anyone at a law school outside the Top 100 would like the data for their school's rank, email me.

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April 7, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Jersey Is Fifth State To Postpone July Bar Exam, First To Offer 2020 Law Grads Temporary License To Practice

NJ Supreme Court Allows 2020 Law School Graduates to Temporarily Practice Law Despite Postponement of Bar Exam:

NJBANew Jersey’s July 2020 bar exam will be postponed until the fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but law school graduates will have an opportunity to temporarily practice law under the supervision of experienced attorneys, under an order signed today by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on behalf of the state Supreme Court.

The order relaxes court rules so that 2020 law school graduates who have not yet taken the bar exam can temporarily practice law under the supervision of attorneys in good standing who have been licensed for a minimum of three years. Graduates must apply to take the first exam scheduled after graduation, or qualify for a single extension, and earn certification from the Supreme Court Committee on Character before they can practice law.

The Court issued the order after consultation with the deans of New Jersey’s law schools: Kimberly Mutcherson, Co-Dean of Rutgers Law School; David Lopez, Co-Dean of Rutgers Law School; and Kathleen M. Boozang, Dean of Seton Hall Law School. ...

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April 7, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

All Of The Top 20 Law Schools Are Now Giving Mandatory Pass/Fail Grades This Semester After Reversals By Chicago, Georgetown, And Michigan

Karen Sloan (, Remaining 'T-14' Law Schools Yield to Mandatory Pass/Fail Pressure:

CoronavirusEvery law school in the so-called T-14 has now adopted mandatory pass/fail grading, as the handful of holdout schools announced revisions to their policies over the last three days.

The University of Chicago Law School on Monday informed students of the change—which comes less than three weeks after dean Thomas Miles angered many by announcing that the school would stick to its traditional grading system. ...

Both the University of Michigan Law School and Georgetown University Law Center initially told students that they would have the option to have their grades converted to pass/fail at the end of the semester, but each in recent days has made pass/fail grades mandatory.

“There’s always a temptation to stick with a decision in the interest of finality, but sometimes that would mean foregoing the best option in the face of new facts,” Michigan law dean Mark West wrote in an email to students Friday night about the new grading policy.

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April 7, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Over 200 Law Profs Petition For Diploma Privilege For 2020 Grads

Petition of Law Professors in support of the Diploma Privilege for 2020 (sign here):

CoronavirusThe undersigned law professors urge state supreme courts and bar licensing bodies to adopt a “diploma privilege” for admitting new law graduates to the bar this year: bypass the bar exam and automatically admit to the state bar anyone who graduates from an accredited law school in 2020.

The global Covid-19 pandemic is truly devastating, and requires bold action to protect our society, our communities, and our law students.

The likelihood of safely holding the bar exam anytime soon is low. State bar exams are typically held over a two- to three-day period during which all takers gather in the same large facility. Even if some shelter-in-place and stay-at-home measures can be relaxed over the summer, this type of larger gathering is still the type experts predict should be prohibited for some time to come.

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April 7, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Best Leaders Are Often Reluctant Leaders

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  The Eisenhower Code: Happy to Serve, Reluctant to Lead, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassSometimes, the best leaders are those who don’t covet the top job.

As president, [Dwight Eisenhower] fortified NATO, ended the Korean War, reshaped the Supreme Court with five appointments, oversaw a growing economy and threw the full weight of the federal government behind the civil-rights movement. He left office with a 65% average approval rating—the highest for any two-term president.

It’s hard to imagine any modern leader unifying the nation to this extent. In 2015, 86% of people surveyed by the World Economic Forum believed that we’re suffering from a global leadership crisis.

Eisenhower’s story also suggests one reason we’re in this predicament. We’ve failed to appreciate one of the key leadership traits that made him so effective: his genuine reluctance to take the job.

Any historical list of famously reticent leaders starts with Moses, who didn’t believe he was a worthy messenger for God’s commandments. Long before Eisenhower, George Washington had to be dragooned into leading the young republic he’d just forcibly liberated. ...

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April 6, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Students In The Age Of Coronavirus

K.G. Molina (Oklahoma 2L) & Lawprofblawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Law Students In The Age Of Coronavirus:

CoronavirusLaw students are facing a new and precarious danger: Coronavirus has not only quieted streets and shut down restaurants, it has thrust the economy into a deep recession, perhaps even depression. During the chaos and disquieting calm since we all retreated into quarantines, law students and law professors are faced with the situation of trying to carry on as normal to finish the semester, all the while knowing it isn’t normal at all.

Some schools have recognized the new normal, allowing students to finish pass/fail. Some have opted for an ignorance is bliss approach, preferring to continue with grades as if the world of law students hasn’t changed. Others, in a particularly callous effort, have requested that students write essays justifying pass/fail, as if COVID-19 were not justification enough. ...

Suddenly, class, grades, and rank feel less important — I’m not certain what the world will look and who will be there after the pandemic passes. Then again, even getting a job after law school seems unlikely. Let’s not forget that there’s also a recession. Law students from lower-ranked state schools cannot compete with the top-tier law schools whose graduates will be scrambling for anything they can find this and next year.

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April 6, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Deans, Law Students Weigh In On California Bar Exam

CoronavirusLetter From Deans of 20 California Law Schools to California Supreme Court and State Bar:

We write now to make three requests.

(1)  We recognize the importance of thinking carefully and seriously about how to proceed. As deans of California’s ABA accredited law schools, who train a significant majority of the state’s lawyers, we offer our assistance in the discussion of options and the review of the implications of each option for our students, our community of lawyers, and the communities of citizens who need the services of lawyers. The decisions that must be made about the July bar exam will have enormous implications for all those constituencies. We believe that our input can help the Committee of Bar Examiners and the Court resolve the difficult issues that surround this decision.

(2)  We further recommend that California not rush to make a definitive decision about how to proceed, and especially not move to cancel or postpone July’s exam without planning for an alternative pathway for licensing new attorneys. We know that a closed Emergency CBE meeting has been called for tomorrow, March 29th, to discuss the bar exam. We commend the CBE for beginning this process when there is still time for discussion and deliberation, and we hope that no action will be taken without a process of consultation with us and others, including legal employers in the private and public sectors as well as public interest lawyers.

(3)  As the Court and the CBE work to address this critical situation, we hope that you will be open to considering a variety of alternatives. We recognize the need for ensuring minimum competency, but equally for creative thinking and ingenuity. We are also well aware that we potentially face an extended period of some degree of disruption. We are concerned that New York’s decision to postpone its bar exam until some undeclared date in the fall will cause as many new problems as it will solve. For example, there is no assurance that large convention halls will be safe then, either—and what then? We are concerned that the backlog of bar exams and results, as well as the licensing of attorneys, could be deferred for an indefinite period of time, to the detriment not only of our students but of employers, clients and access to justice.

Students Letter To California State Bar:

We are a collective of law students who have recently graduated law school or will graduate in May 2020 and who plan on practicing law in California, as well as professors of California law schools and practitioners in California. We urge the California State Bar Admissions Board to adapt to the current crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by revising the state licensing system in California to ensure that the legal needs of our communities are met during this uncertain time. Specifically, we respectfully request that the Admissions Board enact a diploma privilege for all recent graduates and 2020 graduates who plan on taking the July 2020 Bar Exam and practicing law in California. ...

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April 6, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hamilton (Social Distancing Performance)

View video directly on YouTube to avoid interruption caused by blog's refresh rate.

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April 6, 2020 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, April 5, 2020

NCBE Sets Two Dates For Fall Bar Exams As Alternatives To July: Sept. 9-10, Sept. 30-Oct. 1

National Conference of Bar Examiners, COVID-19 Updates:

NCBE (2020)At NCBE, we understand the anxiety and frustrations that law students and graduates have regarding the uncertainty surrounding administration of the July bar exam. The bar admissions process, like everything else, is being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NCBE’s mission is to promote fairness, integrity, and best practices in admission to the legal profession for the benefit and protection of the public. That mission is more important than ever at a time when there is such great need for a competent and ethical legal profession to serve the public. It is with that aim in mind that we are seeking to ensure that the bar exam can be administered to as many candidates as possible in 2020.

To provide needed flexibility for jurisdictions and candidates, in addition to preparing materials for a July bar exam, NCBE will make bar exam materials available for two fall administrations in 2020: September 9-10 and September 30-October 1. Each jurisdiction will determine whether to offer the exam in July, in early September, or in late September. 

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law School Class Of 2020 Should Not Be Subjected To A Prolonged 'Professional Coma'

National Law Journal op-ed:  An 'Immodest Proposal': Bar Exam Requires Innovative Accommodations Amid Pandemic, by Judith Welch Wegner (North Carolina; co-author, The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action):

CoronavirusAs bar leaders and examiners across the nation collectively face the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, I write with an “immodest proposal.”

In his 1729 essay “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift ironically proposed that poor Irish toddlers be fattened and sold as food for the wealthy, to control overpopulation and unemployment and improve the economy. In writing, he hoped to shock the policymakers of his time to move beyond simplistic and ineffectual responses to the Irish plight. However, I fear that Swift’s description is all too accurate in describing how bar licensing authorities and senior bar leaders are approaching the COVID-19 pandemic as it affects graduating law students.

In using this analogy my point is to remind decision-makers of the stark realities facing graduating students and desperate citizens if recent law graduates are placed into a prolonged professional coma with crippling adverse effects. Let’s look those realities in the eye.

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Pepperdine Caruso Law School Dinner (Social Distancing Edition)

Dinner Invitation

Last night was supposed to be our annual law school dinner celebrating our 50th anniversary, $50 million naming gift from Rick and Tina Caruso, and rise into the Top 50 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. My first law school dinners as dean have been memorable, highlighted by keynote speakers Gary Haugen (Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission) in 2018 and Justice Clarence Thomas in 2019. And this year's speaker would have been our biggest "get" ever.

We are very much looking forward to the rescheduled dinner in October. In the meantime, we improvised in this social-distancing time with a Law School Dinner Zoom Happy Hour last night:

Happy Hour 4

I was a tad overdressed (on top):

Happy Hour 2

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April 5, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Deans, Law Students, Task Force Weigh In On New York Bar Exam

Saturday, April 4, 2020

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Covid-19 Was A Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative.

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Covid-19 was a Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative., by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassOne lesson from the coronavirus is that we need leaders who prevent crises more than we need managers who scramble to handle them.

On some glorious day in the future, when the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled and contained, it will be time to hand out trophies.

The recipients may include scores of medical professionals, business executives, school administrators, shopkeepers and yoga instructors all over the world who acted decisively to prevent the virus from spreading; often at considerable personal cost and well before the people they protected thought it was necessary.

I look forward to that. Dark stories need heroes, too. But if the worst disease outbreak in modern history only teaches us one lesson, let it be this: The global response to this pandemic will never be anything more than a case study in crisis management. It has already failed the fundamental tests of leadership.

Leadership is what prevents a pandemic.

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April 4, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

During COVID-19 Pandemic, Harvard Law School's 46 Clinics Continue To Virtually Serve Clients

Harvard Crimson, During COVID-19 Pandemic, Harvard Law School Continues Clinics Virtually:

CoronavirusDespite leaving campus in mid-March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard Law School students will continue to serve Boston residents in need of free legal services online.

Students in the Law School’s clinical programs gain practical experience by working as pro bono attorneys for clients in the Boston area. The Law School offers 46 clinics and student practice organizations covering a wide range of legal specialties, including health, taxes, immigration, and BGLTQ advocacy.

The clinics offer students the opportunity to interview clients, take depositions, and try cases in court — activities that typically occur in-person rather than thousands of miles away.

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April 4, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Lead story: Another important study of legal education appeared last month: Law School Transparency's 2025 Vision.  Excerpt: "When law schools price potential contributors out of the profession, they jeopardize the pipeline of students who want and can afford to protect the rule of law, deliver quality legal services, and narrow the justice gap. Myriad factors stand between good intentions and meaningful reform, but more accessible, affordable, and innovative law schools can become the new normal if we devote additional energy to changing the structural barriers that hold schools back."

Other legal education news:

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April 3, 2020 in Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

My Daughter, My Hero

Jayne NYUAlmost four years ago, my beloved, brilliant, and beautiful daughter Jayne began her medical education at NYU. Her mother and I had planned to be at her graduation in seven weeks, but instead she and her classmates are graduating today in a virtual ceremony due to the coronavirus. We are thrilled that Jayne will be doing her residency near us at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a mere 25 miles from Malibu. Yet instead of taking a well-deserved vacation after a grueling four years of medical school, Jayne has volunteered to work at the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic at NYU's hospital beginning on Monday. 

My late mother would have turned 93 tomorrow. Jayne is named after my sister, who died shortly after birth. My mother was a secretary at a nursing school and absolutely loved the medical profession. Shortly before my mother died in 1992, my pregnant wife and I told her we were going to name our daughter Jayne. My mother would be bursting with pride and gratitude today, tinged with fear for Jayne's safety, just as Jayne's parents and brother are.

Last week, Jayne wrote about her desire to serve in On Being An Almost Doctor During A Pandemic:

Today I found out that I matched to become an obstetrician/gynecologist. On Friday I will discover where I matched. For those in the medical community, “Match Day” is a huge celebration with family, friends, peers and mentors coming to celebrate your accomplishments. You all get together, open your envelopes (sometimes on stage in front of everyone) and cry either happy or sad tears with all of your closest friends and family and the people with whom you have survived four years of medical school. Instead, this year, I will get an e-mail at noon in my apartment alone. I will FaceTime my brother in Madison, WI and my parents in Los Angeles, CA who could no longer come in person to celebrate with me. My brother’s fiancé is on immunosuppressive medications for IBD and has a father going through chemotherapy right now. My parents are over the age of sixty. We all agreed the risk was far too great to be together in person. Quite frankly, I don’t know when I’ll see them again. 

In two and a half months I will graduate and become a fully-fledged physician. I don’t know right now if this timeline will be sped up as NYC is depleted of physicians who are not sick themselves or under quarantine and as more and more patients present for care. Part of me yearns to graduate early, to be able to do something instead of stay at home, aimlessly refreshing my phone for virus news, hoping for a glimpse into what is going on inside the halls of the hospitals that have become my home over these past four years, hospitals that I am now no longer allowed to visit because I am not “essential personnel.” I answer texts and questions from family and friends and send along the emails and graphics from my medical institution, calming panic, urging social distancing, trying to stay positive for the other people in my life. And yet, I think, lying in bed, put me in coach, wishing my medical school would send the promised email this morning about what we as medical students could do to help.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

'Nobody Is Recruiting Over The Summer': OCI Season Postponed, 'Nobody Is Recruiting Over the Summer': OCI Season Postponed:

CoronavirusLaw firms won’t be recruiting summer associates in late July and early August this year.

All but one of the so-called T-14 law schools by Thursday had announced postponements to their on-campus interview programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a growing number in the top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report rankings have followed suit.

Columbia Law School, which sends a higher number of graduates into associate jobs at large firms than any other school, became the first to postpone OCI on March 23. But the movement picked up steam this week when Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School joined the list of campuses delaying summer associate recruiting. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the one T-14 school that hasn’t yet announced a delay.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Internships In The Administrative State During The Covid-19 Summer Of 2020

Christopher J. Walker (Ohio State), Legal Internships in the Administrative State During the Summer of 2020:

CoronavirusFor a half dozen years or so, I’ve had the privilege of directing my law school’s Washington, DC, summer program. Each summer we place about twenty students (mostly rising 2Ls) in our DC summer program—usually in unpaid internships and most often at federal agencies, on the Hill, and at non-profits. As part of the summer program, I teach a professional responsibility class a couple evenings each week, and the students write a final term paper based on a topic from their internship. More details about the program are here.

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, I have spent dozens of hours more than usual communicating with potential host organizations in DC to brainstorm how to navigate through all of the uncertainty. I been so impressed with the flexibility and creativity that many federal agencies, congressional committees and member offices, and nonprofits have embraced for their internship programs this summer.

I thought I’d highlight in an anonymous fashion some of what we are learning and discussing, with the hope that these ideas will help state and federal administrative agencies, legislative staffs, and nonprofits structure their internship programs this summer. I’m focusing on legal internships that intersect with administrative law and regulatory practice, but all of these ideas have broader applicability to summer internships more generally.

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April 3, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pepperdine Provides Covid-19 Legal Resources For Those In Need

CoronavirusIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pepperdine Caruso Law School's Community Justice Clinic has assembled resources to help (1) nonprofits, churches, and other organizations navigate federal loan, grant, and tax programs under the new CARES Act, and (2) employees who lose their jobs during this crisis, including this memorandum.

Kudos to Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs and Associate Clinical Professor of Law Jeff Baker and his team for once again using their legal talents to help those in need during difficult times.

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

‘A Decidedly Suboptimal Set of Circumstances’: Harvard Law Profs Evaluate Online Instruction

Harvard Crimson, ‘A Decidedly Suboptimal Set of Circumstances’: Harvard Law Professors Evaluate Online Instruction:

CoronavirusHarvard Law School’s transition to remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic has garnered mixed reactions from professors — while some report no significant difficulties in teaching online, others say they struggle to facilitate class participation. ...

Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, who teaches the course “Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment,” wrote in an email that her class was able to transition smoothly to the video conference platform Zoom because of its discussion-based format.

“The Socratic method that I use involves cold-calling students and engaging in questioning and dialogue,” she wrote. “It translates well to an online format: I call on a specific student, they unmute themselves, and we do the same thing that we would be doing in person.” ...

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2021 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Trial Advocacy Rankings include the trial advocacy programs at 188 law schools (the faculty survey had a 52% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.1 Stetson
2 4.0 Baylor
2 4.0 Temple
4 3.9 American
5 3.8 Chicago-Kent
5 3.8 Loyola-L.A.
7 3.6 Samford
7 3.6 South Texas
9 3.5 Fordham
9 3.5 Denver
9 3.5 Pacific
12 3.4 Georgetown
12 3.4 Loyola-Chicago
12 3.4 Washington University
15 3.3 Campbell
15 3.3 Drexel
15 3.3 Syracuse
15 3.3 UC-Berkeley
19 3.2 Northwestern
20 3.1 St. Mary's 
20 3.1 Suffolk
20 3.1 UC-Hastings
23 3.0 Emory
23 3.0 UCLA
25 2.9 Georgia State
25 2.9 Akron
25 2.9 Florida
25 2.9 Georgia
25 2.9 Notre Dame
25 2.9 Wake Forest
31 2.8 Faulkner
31 2.8 NYU
31 2.8 Texas Tech
31 2.8 Alabama
31 2.8 Maryland
36 2.7 Florida State
36 2.7 Harvard
36 2.7 Hofstra
36 2.7 St. John's
36 2.7 UIC-John Marshall
36 2.7 Missouri (Kansas City)
36 2.7 South Carolina
36 2.7 Texas
44 2.6 Ohio State
44 2.6 Pace
44 2.6 Stanford
44 2.6 Tulane
44 2.6 Houston
44 2.6 William & Mary
50 2.5 Case Western
50 2.5 George Washington
50 2.5 Loyola-New Orleans
50 2.5 Nova
50 2.5 Pepperdine
50 2.5 Arizona
50 2.5 UC-Davis
50 2.5 Colorado
50 2.5 Villanova

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 2, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hawaii Is Fourth State To Postpone July Bar Exam

In the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii, In the Matter of the July 2020 Hawaii Bar Examination for Admission to the Bar of the State of Hawaii:

CoronavirusUpon consideration of the public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and upon consultation with the Hawaii Board of Bar Examiners,
1. The July 2020 Hawaii bar examination presently scheduled to take place on July 28, 2020 and July 29, 2020 will not be administered on those dates. The examination will be rescheduled to the Fall of 2020, on dates to be determined.
2. The deadline to submit the application for this examination is extended from April 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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April 2, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Law School Transparency's 2025 Vision

Law School Transparency's 2025 Vision:

LST CoverLST's 2025 Vision: A Guide To Our Way Forward:
The challenges facing legal education in 2020 run deep and, in some cases, will take several decades to address. Our vision for lower tuition, lessfinancially stressed graduates, and a more diverse profession requires that we change the environment in which law schools operate. Over the next five years, we believe it is possible to create the conditions necessary to achieve both rapid and long-term positive change.

Our plans and proposals are intricate and thorough, making this report lengthy and dense. The next few pages will serve as a guide to the report’s two main parts. The first part of the report looks at how LST plans to remake law school incentives. This part begins with a section on the U.S. News law school rankings methodology and how the rankings negatively impact students, schools, our profession, and more. The next section estimates the cost to buy or license the rankings—a thought experiment that demonstrates the absurd power U.S. News has over law schools. The next section examines two projects from LST aimed at fostering competition with U.S. News as part of an effort to mitigate its influence on law school operations. The last section describes a change to the rankings methodology that LST is encouraging U.S. News to adopt.

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April 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Faculty Can Cure Law Student And Lawyer Distress

Susan Wawrose (Dayton), A More Human Place: Using Core Counseling Skills to Transform Law School Relationships, 55 Willamette L. Rev. 133 (2018):

The problem of law student and lawyer distress is longstanding, severe, and remarkably resilient in the face of efforts to address it.

In this article, I propose increased attention by law faculty to relationship building during law school as a way to begin to reverse the downward spiral that draws in so many of our students and holds them captive, sometimes until long after they graduate from law school. Research shows that supportive social connections are the single most important factor in protecting against stress, increasing resilience, and contributing to greater feelings of happiness. Moreover, if the goal of improving student wellbeing is not, in itself, sufficient motivation for addressing law student distress, there is the strong likelihood that taking steps to improve students’ wellbeing will also improve their academic performance. Numerous studies show that happier people are more successful and resilient than their distressed and unhappy counterparts.


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April 1, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

With Pass/Fail Now The Norm, Outlier Law Schools Face Student Backlash

Karen Sloan (, With Pass/Fail Now the Norm, Outlier Law Schools Face Student Backlash:

CoronavirusLaw students at Arizona State, University of Georgia and Georgia State are among those pushing campus administrators to adopt mandatory pass/fail grading.

Arizona State University law dean Douglas Sylvester is well aware that he’s not the most popular guy on his (virtual) campus at the moment.

The school’s Student Bar Association on Monday issued an open letter denouncing the school’s handling of spring semester grading, saying students feel “betrayed” by the announced policy, which requires them to go through a formal accommodation process to request that their grades be reported as pass/fail. Students may choose to go that route immediately, or they may make that request after grades have been issued if their spring semester grade point average is lower than their cumulative GPA. Students have vented their frustrations on legal blogs and online forums such as Reddit, calling the scheme “heartless” and a “prisoner’s dilemma.”

Sylvester is among a number of law deans and university administrators receiving backlash from students who are unhappy over the grading policies their schools have rolled out amid the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Georgia School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, the University of Chicago Law School, and Georgia State University College of Law also have seen pushback over grading, as have numerous other schools. Though students harbor an array of opinions over what grading system is best, the most vocal and organized among them are pushing for mandatory pass/fail grading.

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April 1, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2021 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Legal Writing Rankings include the legal writing programs at 179 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.3 UNLV
2 4.2 Oregon
3 4.1 Seattle
3 4.1 Stetson
5 4.0 Suffolk
6 3.9 Wake Forest
7 3.8 Arizona State
7 3.8 Denver
7 3.8 UIC-John Marshall
7 3.8 North Carolina
11 3.7 UC-Irvine
12 3.6 Drake
12 3.6 Georgetown
12 3.6 Marquette
12 3.6 Temple
12 3.6 Texas Tech
12 3.6 Michigan
18 3.5 Drexel
18 3.5 Lewis & Clark
18 3.5 Mercer
18 3.5 Nova
18 3.5 Rutgers
18 3.5 Washburn
24 3.4 Indiana (McKinney)
24 3.4 Northwestern
24 3.4 Arizona
24 3.4 Arkansas (Little Rock)
24 3.4 Missouri (Kansas City)
29 3.3 Duquesne
29 3.3 Texas A&M
29 3.3 Villanova
32 3.2 Brooklyn
32 3.2 Chicago-Kent
32 3.2 St. John's
32 3.2 Arkansas (Fayetteville)
32 3.2 Tennessee
32 3.2 Pacific
38 3.1 Boston College
38 3.1 New York Law School
38 3.1 Northeastern
38 3.1 Ohio State
38 3.1 Baltimore
38 3.1 Memphis
44 3.0 Duke
44 3.0 Elon
44 3.0 Emory
44 3.0 George Washington
44 3.0 Loyola-L.A.
44 3.0 Santa Clara
44 3.0 Texas

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 1, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Subscribing To TaxProf Blog

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April 1, 2020 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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April 1, 2020 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Schools' Pass/Fail Decision Doesn't Ace All Tests

Washington Times, Law Schools' Pass/Fail Decision Doesn't Ace All Tests:

CoronavirusLaw schools, like colleges and universities, increasingly are assigning pass/fail grades to facilitate remote learning amid travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the grading scheme doesn’t level the playing field, professors say.

“For those [students] who are in the middle of class, this was a god-send. For students who were already very high in their class, this is good news because they can’t go down,” said Josh Blackman, who teaches constitutional law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. “But for students who want to move up in the class row and are set to graduate, this is definitely a setback.”

Law school grades play an outsized role in graduates landing clerkships and entry-level professions, meaning that third-year students now eyeing graduation, the state bar exam and future employment face greater uncertainty than ever before.

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April 1, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

AccessLex Donates $25,000 To Student Emergency Funds At All 200 Law Schools

AccessLex Institute Donates $5 Million to Establish Law Student Emergency Relief Fund:

AccessLex (2020)The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has sparked fear, disruption and uncertainty across the country, and law students have not been spared. In response, AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping aspiring lawyers find their path to professional success, has created a $5 million Law Student Emergency Relief Fund to provide direct resources to law students during this unique time. Beyond the concerns around adapting to online learning, completion of hands-on legal clinics, and the potential for delays in the bar exam, this crisis has exacerbated financial pressures on law students—in many cases, to a level that can jeopardize the continuation of their studies.

Through this $5 million fund, AccessLex will make $25,000 available to every nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-approved law school in the nation, with monies going directly to each school's designated student emergency fund. Law schools will then administer the funds in a manner consistent with the established criteria for emergency relief on their campuses.

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amid More Bar Exam Delays, Push For Diploma Privilege Grows

Karen Sloan (, Amid More Bar Exam Delays, Push for Diploma Privilege Grows:

CoronavirusNew York on Friday became the first jurisdiction to officially postpone the July bar exam, clearing the path for others to follow suit, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, which both announced Monday that they will also postpone the exam to an as-yet-undermined date in the fall.

Those announcements come after the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the test, said last week that it will offer a separate exam in the fall for jurisdictions that can’t or don’t want to move ahead with the test in July amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The move to fall bar exams is distressing many law students, who fear additional postponements and cancellations if the COVID-19 pandemic drags on as some public health officials predict. Those changes could put their professional future on hold for the foreseeable future, they say. ...

Law students in New York, Florida, California, the District of Columbia and other jurisdictions have circulated petitions and open letters to bar examiners, urging them to go the emergency diploma privilege route. A group of legal educators last week kicked off the diploma privilege push with a paper that recommended it as a practical way to deal with attorney licensing at an unprecedented time. ...

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Connecticut Is Third State To Postpone July Bar Exam

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Connecticut Bar Examining Committee, Connecticut Bar Exam Postponed:

CoronavirusThe Connecticut Bar Examining Committee announces today that, due to the ongoing public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut bar examination will not be administered on July 28 – 29, 2020 as previously scheduled. The bar exam has been postponed until fall, on dates to be determined.

The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee will suspend acceptance of applications after March 31, 2020, and will announce at a later date the rescheduled dates for the examination and for an extended application filing period.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 U.S. News International Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News International Law Rankings include the international law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 52% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 NYU
2 4.4 Harvard
3 4.3 Georgetown
4 4.2 American
4 4.2 Columbia
4 4.2 Yale
7 4.1 Michigan
8 4.0 George Washington
9 3.9 Duke
9 3.9 Stanford
11 3.8 UC-Berkeley
11 3.8 Virginia
13 3.7 Cornell
14 3.6 Penn
14 3.6 Texas
14 3.6 Vanderbilt
17 3.5 Temple
17 3.5 UCLA
17 3.5 Chicago
17 3.5 Washington Univ.
21 3.4 Fordham
21 3.4 Northwestern
21 3.4 Georgia
24 3.3 Case Western
25 3.2 Arizona State
25 3.2 UC-Irvine
25 3.2 Minnesota
28 3.1 Indiana (Maurer)
28 3.1 Tulane
28 3.1 UC-Hastings
28 3.1 Notre Dame
32 3.0 Boston University
32 3.0 UC-Davis
32 3.0 Wisconsin
32 3.0 William & Mary
36 2.9 Arizona
36 2.9 Miami
36 2.9 Pacific
36 2.9 Washington & Lee
40 2.8 Boston College
40 2.8 Emory
40 2.8 Santa Clara
43 2.7 Ohio State
43 2.7 Pittsburgh
43 2.7 Washington
46 2.6 Brooklyn
46 2.6 Pepperdine
46 2.6 SMU
46 2.6 Houston
46 2.6 North Carolina
46 2.6 USC

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 31, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Third Of MBA Admits May Defer; 43% Want Tuition Lowered If Classes Are Online

Poets&Quants Survey, A Third Of Admits May Defer, While 43% Want Tuition Lowered If Classes Are Online:

CoronavirusThe disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a lot of anxiety among MBA applicants, admits and students in the top MBA programs. Roughly a third of prospective students already admitted to top business schools say they may want to defer their admission this year if classes fail to return to campus in the fall. Even more worrisome for B-schools, 43% believe tuition fees should be cutback by an average of 37.5% if the first part of their MBA program is shifted online due to the pandemic.

The results come from a Poets&Quants survey of more than 300 current admits to top MBA programs this year. Some respondents believe their tuition bills should be cut on a prorated basis for the time they are denied a more fully immersive on-campus learning experience. Only 17% of the prospective MBA students say they would be okay attending online classes, while 96% say that missing out on the full on-campus experience such as face-to-face classes, participating in co-curricular activities, building a network with peers and relationships with faculty is a major concern. ...

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Board Of Regents Demanding Repayment Of Room & Board For Students Displaced By Covid-19

Lawsuit Filed Against Arizona Board of Regents For Displacement of Students Amid COVID-19:

Arizona Board of RegentsA class action lawsuit has been filed against the Arizona Board of Regents, the governing board for Arizona's three public universities, after the three schools refused to refund room, board and campus fees to students who were displaced because of coronavirus.

All three universities, Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, moved their classes to online only for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester to protect students and staff and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Students who lived on-campus were either told to move out or encouraged to do so. The lawsuit says the Arizona Board of Regents has refused to offer refunds for the unused portion of their room and board and their campus fees. The lawsuit seeks payment of the prorated, unused amounts of room and board and fees that the class members paid but were unable to use.

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March 31, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Tax Prof's Day In Covid-19 America Without Child Care

Slate, A Day in America Without Child Care:

CoronavirusAs the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down day cares and schools, countless parents have been left with no child care at all. Some are trying to do their jobs remotely, while also changing diapers and helping bored teens figure out online courses and brainstorming games to distract toddlers. Some essential workers are still going in every day, while exhausted family members take on child care duties or school-age kids find ways to entertain themselves. So we picked a single weekday—last Thursday—and asked a bunch of parents all around the country to record how that stretch of time unfolded for them without child care, hour by hour. Here’s the combined timeline of their days.

8 p.m. Steven, New York, tax law professor: We play bingo with a college buddy of mine. I send her a photo of a bingo card and patch her in by video. My wife ends up winning and our son comes in second, followed by a team of stuffed animals that was also playing.

9 p.m. Steven, New York, tax law professor: Simpsons!

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Spivey: How Will COVID-19 Impact Law Schools?

Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting Group), How Will COVID-19 Impact Law Schools As The Summer Progresses?:

CoronavirusWith the [Covid-19] growth factor still curving upward, where does this leave law school applicants and law school classes? First to the applicants. The March LSAT was recently canceled, and the April administration is looking precarious (for context, combined those tests had/have about 20,000 registrants). This is actually good news if you are on a waitlist at a law school and you did not plan to retake the LSAT. Why? Schools will likely not be getting an influx of either new applicants from spring LSAT exams (although this is heavily stratified by score range, with top ranked schools generally having nearly their entire applicant pool already in and lower ranked schools having closer to 80 percent, 70 percent, or even 60 percent) nor a heavy supply of retakers hoping to increase their score. Put another way — look for significant waitlist movement below the top range of schools. While we expect almost all schools to have some waitlist movement, the effects of canceled LSAT
administrations will compound the lower a given school’s LSAT median. ...

[A] significant swath of what would normally be applicants in this cycle’s pool (or retakers) are now not in the pool. Many schools were counting on those folks. As the summer carries on, we expect this to mean considerably more admits — especially below the 165 LSAT score-band threshold where applicants were already down this cycle. ...

One final issue is that of the overall economic viability of law schools. Since the Great Recession, many law schools have been underwritten by central universities. This poses a problem because universities are currently facing a much greater financial threat than law schools. As a factual matter, Moody’s Investors Service just recently downgraded the outlook on higher education as a whole from “stable” to “negative,” driven primarily by the fact that many auxiliary sources of income for universities (housing, dining, parking, athletics, etc.) and enrollments are threatened.

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March 30, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)