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Monday, March 30, 2020

University Of Chicago Law School Sticks To ‘Status Quo’ Grading, Bucking Peers’ Move To Mandatory Pass-Fail

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Chicago Maroon, Law School Plans to Stick To ‘Status Quo’ Grading, Bucking Peers’ Move to Mandatory Pass-Fail:

Chicago (2016)The University of Chicago Law School plans to keep its “status quo” grading system for spring quarter, Dean Tom Miles told students in an email on Tuesday, despite a push by some students to move to a pass/fail system.

The choice contrasts with those of a number of other top law programs—including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Cornell—that have switched to blanket pass/fail or equivalent grading for the spring term, after the response to the coronavirus pandemic disrupted many students’ plans.

“Student opinion here, as at other schools, is sharply divided, and any path is sure to disappoint many students,” Miles wrote in Tuesday’s email:

Dear Students,
I hope you are doing well during this unusual time and that you are taking steps to remain healthy.

You may be aware that some law schools have adjusted their grading practices for spring semester. Many of you have contacted me and Dean of Students Charles Todd directly about this. Student opinion here, as at other schools, is sharply divided, and any path is sure to disappoint many students. Please know that Dean Todd and I have read every single one of your emails and petitions, and that your varied points of view have very much been a part of all conversations about grading. I have also been listening carefully to the faculty and administration, as well as the many employers who have contacted me in the past week. There is no answer that is right for everyone, and the considerations are many and complex.

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

2021 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Intellectual Property Law Rankings include the intellectual property law programs at 188 law schools (the faculty survey had a 58% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 UC-Berkeley
2 4.6 Stanford
3 4.4 NYU
4 4.0 Santa Clara
5 3.8 George Washington
5 3.8 Houston
5 3.8 New Hampshire
8 3.7 Texas A&M
8 3.7 Penn
10 3.6 American
10 3.6 Boston University
12 3.5 Duke
13 3.4 Columbia
13 3.4 Georgetown
13 3.4 Chicago-Kent
13 3.4 Michigan
13 3.4 Cardozo
18 3.3 Harvard
18 3.3 Texas
18 3.3 Washington
21 3.2 Fordham
21 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
21 3.2 Northeastern
21 3.2 Northwestern
25 3.1 UC-Irvine
25 3.1 UCLA
25 3.1 Colorado
25 3.1 Notre Dame
25 3.1 Richmond
25 3.1 Vanderbilt
31 3.0 Boston College
31 3.0 George Mason
31 3.0 Loyola-L.A.
31 3.0 San Diego
31 3.0 Virginia
36 2.9 DePaul
36 2.9 Emory
36 2.9 UC-Davis
36 2.9 UIC-John Marshall
40 2.8 Case Western
40 2.8 Cornell
40 2.8 Ohio State
40 2.8 Chicago
40 2.8 Minnesota
45 2.7 Loyola-Chicago
45 2.7 Suffolk
45 2.7 UC-Hastings
45 2.7 Villanova
45 2.7 Washington Univ.
45 2.7 William & Mary

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 30, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Zatz: Crisis Grading Policy 2.0: Universality Over Carve-Outs

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Noah Zatz (UCLA), Crisis Grading Policy 2.0: Universality over Carve-outs:

Zatz 2As law schools continue to debate grading policy changes in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a new wrinkle has emerged. The first round largely focused on whether to move away from standard grading and, if so, whether to take an opt-in versus a mandatory pass/fail approach. I’ve previously explained my support for a mandatory over an opt-in approach, and law schools largely seem to be going in this direction. The wrinkle is whether to adopt some kind of hybrid, with a mandatory approach to some courses (especially larger, curved courses) and an opt-in approach to others (such as seminars and/or experiential courses). Most schools taking a mandatory approach have considered but rejected such carve-outs, as Cornell did when it adopted a mandatory pass/fail policy early on. My own institution (UCLA), however, recently included carve-outs for seminars and experiential courses, and so that approach is likely to receive additional interest. This post explains why I believe carve-outs are a mistake, and why a simple, universal approach is preferable.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Klein: Of Prisoner's Dilemmas And Straw Men — A Response To Blackman, Adler, And Krauss On Law School Grading

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Diane Klein (La Verne), Of Prisoner's Dilemmas and Straw Men: A Response to Blackman, Adler, and Krauss on Law School Grading:

CoronavirusDramatic (probably temporary) changes to grading policies are afoot in America's law schools, and in higher education more generally, in response to COVID-19, the all-online transition, and the seismic disruption taking place in education across the United States. ...

Fa lively debate has been taking place about whether law schools should adopt mandatory pass/fail grading for spring 2020, leave their grading systems alone, or do something in the middle.  A midsemester transition to all pass/fail recommends itself to many faculty members and administrations, based on a sense of compassion for students, and in acknowledgement of the extraordinary dislocation created by the circumstances we are all in.  Led by Dorf on Law's eponymous founder, Prof. Michael Dorf, Cornell Law was among the first to decide to adopt mandatory pass/fail, as they announced on March 16, 2020, and an informal survey suggests that other elite institutions have largely followed suit.

This has triggered a somewhat predictable backlash from some conservatives among the legal professoriate. Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law [here, here, and here] and Prof. Jonathan Adler of Case Western both blogged about it at The Volokh Conspiracy, and Prof. Michael Krauss of George Mason University Law wrote in Forbes. All take something like a "tough love" approach; all, in my view, minimize the magnitude of what is unfolding; mistakenly fixate on grades as the sole way for professors to convey their assessment of students (to students themselves and to potential employers); and (perhaps most surprisingly!) miss some of the problematic game-theoretic dimensions of what is taking place, leading to their support for an even worse option than no change at all: individualized opt-in to pass/fail.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Krauss: Should Law Schools Grade Pass-Fail This Semester?

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Michael Krauss (George Mason), Should Law Schools Grade Pass-Fail This Semester?:

CoronavirusQuite a few top law schools have chosen to grade students on a pass-fail basis during this coronavirus-infected semester. ... I am extremely disappointed to have to teach the second half of this semester remotely. ... [O]ur class sessions are less rich when students only see each other as postage-stamp-size photos on the screen. For this I am truly sorry. But should this loss impact the type of grading that takes place? ...

Lawyers must confront many problems in their practice. Court dates conflict. Children are ill and must be cared for despite constant pressures of practice. Deadlines constantly loom, and witnesses occasionally vanish. Conflicts of interest counsel against taking cases, yet payrolls of assistants and paralegals must be met.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has imposed costs on law students, as it has on us all. No, throwing out the grading structure and denying excellent law students the opportunity to demonstrate their excellence is not the appropriate response to these costs. Law students should be allowed to demonstrate excellence, not merely pass. True, elite schools and median students will not be impacted by the change to a pass-fail structure, while excellent students at non-elite schools will be the biggest losers. Is that the redistribution we want to encourage?

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Muller: Thoughts About (And Mostly Against) Pass-Fail Law School Grading During Covid-19

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Some Thoughts About (and Mostly Against) Pass-fail Law School Grading During Covid-19:

CoronavirusPass-fail is a luxurious advantage for the highest-ranking law schools. They can easily move to pass-fail and know that the vast majority of their students will experience little difference in likelihood of employment outcomes.

For many other students at the vast majority of law schools, however, I do think there will be disadvantages to moving to pass-fail.

Maybe I’m overstating it, and maybe there won’t be a significant change in judges’ or employers’ experience. Maybe the concerns of the students who I identified as potentially disadvantaged should be outweighed by the concerns of others. But I offer my own thoughts here and look forward to reading more of the robust debates in the days ahead—and to seeing how law schools react.

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March 29, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

New York Postpones July Bar Exam To Fall; Students Demand Emergency Diploma Privilege To Practice Law

New York State Bar Exam Rescheduled for Fall 2020:

CoronavirusThe Court of Appeals today announced that the New York State Bar Examination will not be administered on July 28-29, 2020 as previously scheduled.

The Bar Examination will be rescheduled for dates in the fall, to be determined.

Karen Sloan (New York Law Journal), New York Postpones July Bar Exam Amid COVID-19 Pandemic:

The Court of Appeals’ announcement came after the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the nationwide test, said Friday that it will offer an alternate date for the all-important licensing exam for jurisdictions that cannot, or choose not to, move forward with the July administration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Zatz: The Case For Mandatory Pass/Fail Grading In Spring 2020

Following up on my previous posts on law school grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester in the wake of the coronavirus (links below):

Noah Zatz (UCLA), Grading in a Time of Crisis:

Zatz 2I am of the firm and strong view that we should go mandatory P/NP. I have thought about it a lot over the past week, steadily moving in this direction after pausing to consider a variety of alternatives. This includes many conversations with my Section 3/4 1Ls, including after I solicited viewpoints opposing such a move to make sure I was not missing something.

These have been extremely illuminating, often heart-wrenching conversations. I have heard from students struggling with mental health difficulties exacerbated by stress, isolation, and worry. I have heard from students relocating across the country to be with family members who are extremely vulnerable, for whom they are terrified, and with whom they confess they will find it very difficult to live in close proximity, despite their love. I have heard from students in precarious economic circumstances whose ability to study has been seriously disrupted by loss of access to the library, both as a physical space in which to study relative to their marginal housing situation and as a way to access books, and who lack reliable internet access from home. I have also heard from other students sheepishly acknowledging that they have so far have suffered little direct effect, and in fact have benefited from additional time to study, as they live comfortably in LA and have their family nearby, and some of them have had the self-awareness to observe that this relative insulation actually confers additional and unfair advantage on them in any competitively structured process.

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline For The Age Of The Coronavirus: 'Hands ... Washing Hands'

Showing my age (and cheesy musical tastes): here is Neil Diamond's adaptation of Sweet Caroline for the age of the coronavirus:

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March 28, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Lead story: The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Education has issued a new report on the future of legal education: Principles For Legal Education and Licensure in the 21st Century: Principles and Commentary.   This report is probably the most important statement on Legal Education since the "Carnegie Report" and "Best Practices" appeared in 2007.  It contains a bold plan, which urges legal education reform now.

The report states, "There is positive change already underway; passionate innovators in every sector of legal education and licensure strive for progress every day. To build on that work, we need systemic change—and we need it now."  It continues, ""The Commission believes that systemic change is possible. The Foundational and Operational Principles provide a platform for structured change. Individuals and institutions can use these Principles to assess current practices and fashion new ones."  The plan concludes, "Although continued study is critical, we must move forward purposefully with aligned, transparent, and meaningful change. It is past time to shift collectively from study into action."

In other words, the future of legal education is now.

Other legal education news:

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March 27, 2020 in Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Symposium: The Impact Of The 2017 Tax Act On Income And Wealth Inequality — Lessons For 2020 And Beyond

Symposium Post

Due to the coronavirus, we had to cancel today's Pepperdine Law Review Symposium, The Impact of the 2017 Tax Act on Income and Wealth Inequality: Lessons For 2020 And Beyond. We are incredibly disappointed that we did not get to spend the day with these wonderful tax scholars and show off our beautiful law school, campus, and city. I feel especially bad for 3L Nicole Mitchell, the law review's symposium editor who conceived of the topic (after our Tax Policy class last Spring), selected and invited the speakers, and made all of the travel, hotel, and restaurant arrangements. However, we are delighted that many of the participants will be publishing their papers in the symposium issue of our law review.

March 27, 2020 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

NCBE To Decide By May 5 Whether It Will Provide MBE For July Bar Examinations

National Conference of Bar Examiners, NCBE COVID-19 Updates:

CoronavirusWill the July bar exam be administered as scheduled?
Each jurisdiction will make its own decision about whether it is able to administer the July bar exam, based on factors including ongoing office closures, state and local restrictions on gatherings, and test venue availability. On or about May 5, NCBE will make a decision about whether to make the MBE, MEE, and MPT available to those US jurisdictions that administer them, including all UBE jurisdictions, for the regularly scheduled July bar exam. This decision will be based on whether there would be a sufficient number of jurisdictions and examinees to support equating of scores and all the scoring support and grader training associated with the exam. NCBE will also offer another set of bar exam materials—MBE, MEE, and MPT—for an administration in the fall. Jurisdictions that cannot administer in July, or cannot administer at normal seating capacity, will have the fall administration date as an alternative or additional option. Scores earned in UBE jurisdictions in the fall administration would constitute UBE scores.

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March 27, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2021 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Health Care Law Rankings include the health care law programs at 143 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.4 St. Louis
2 4.2 Georgia State
3 4.1 Loyola-Chicago
3 4.1 Houston
5 4.0 Boston University
5 4.0 Stanford
7 3.9 Georgetown
7 3.9 Maryland
9 3.8 Case Western
9 3.8 Harvard
11 3.7 American
11 3.7 Northeastern
13 3.6 Seton Hall
13 3.6 UC-Hastings
15 3.5 Indiana (McKinney)
16 3.4 Yale
17 3.3 Temple
17 3.3 Wake Forest
19 3.2 Michigan
19 3.2 Minnesota
19 3.2 Texas
22 3.1 Arizona State
22 3.1 North Carolina
22 3.1 Penn
25 3.0 DePaul
25 3.0 Duke
25 3.0 Mitchell Hamline
25 3.0 Vanderbilt
29 2.9 Ohio State
29 2.9 UC-Berkeley
29 2.9 Washington University
32 2.8 Drexel
32 2.8 George Washington
32 2.8 Arizona
32 2.8 UCLA
32 2.8 UNLV
32 2.8 Pittsburgh
32 2.8 Utah
32 2.8 Washington
40 2.7 Emory
40 2.7 Indiana (Maurer)
40 2.7 UC-Irvine
40 2.7 Georgia
40 2.7 Wisconsin
40 2.7 Washington & Lee
46 2.6 Columbia
46 2.6 Virginia
48 2.5 Boston College
48 2.5 Loyola-L.A.
48 2.5 NYU
48 2.5 Northwestern
48 2.5 USC
48 2.5 William & Mary

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 27, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Students Share Anxiety, Support On Reddit Over Grading Policies In Wake Of Coronavirus

Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'I Feel Like Stress Crying': Law Students Share Anxiety, Support on Reddit:

CoronavirusWant to know how law students are handling life amid a pandemic?

The section of online forum Reddit that is dedicated to law schools—r/LawSchool—offers an unfiltered look at what is keeping future lawyers up at night. Hundreds of students are swapping information on their school’s grading policies and offering updates on how their online classes are working. They’re also sharing their concerns over jobs, internships and their ability to concentrate and study during an unprecedented period of upheaval in their lives. Because users are anonymous, their posts tend to be far more candid that what students share on their class list serves and social media.

“Today I just feel like stress crying,” wrote one poster—a sentiment echoed by many others on the site.

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March 27, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Law Professor, Law Student Diagnosed With COVID-19

National Law Journal, Sen. Klobuchar's Husband, a Baltimore Law Prof, Tests Positive for COVID-19:

BesslerU.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Monday her husband, John Bessler, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, is hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease tied to the novel coronavirus.

Klobuchar, D-Minnesota and a one-time U.S. presidential contender, said in a post Monday at Medium:

John started to feel sick when I was in Minnesota and he was in Washington D.C. and like so many others who have had the disease, he thought it was just a cold. Yet he immediately quarantined himself just in case and stopped going to his job teaching in Baltimore. He kept having a temperature and a bad, bad cough and when he started coughing up blood he got a test and a chest X-ray and they checked him into a hospital in Virginia because of a variety of things including very low oxygen levels which haven’t really improved. He now has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not a ventilator.

Klobuchar described Bessler as “exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person.”

Boston Herald, Boston College Law Student Shares Coronavirus Diagnosis: ‘Maybe I Had Something That Was Causing People to Die’:

MooreBoston College law student Sarah Moore spent the first week of March on spring break in Ireland, where coronavirus was barely on the map. But March 14, a week after the 24-year-old returned from her trip, she felt herself coming down with a fever. She shared her experience of getting sick with and testing positive for COVID-19, as told to Herald reporter Meghan Ottolini:

“I did not feel it coming on at all. I got back from Ireland, where I had been in airports and around a lot of people traveling, and I got back March 7. I didn’t show symptoms until the 14th. I was working out, I truly felt fine.

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Status Of July Bar Exam, August MPRE Exam

National Conference of Bar Examiners, COVID-19 Updates:

Will the July bar exam be administered as scheduled?
The bar exam is administered by individual jurisdictions, not by NCBE. We are in close contact with jurisdiction bar admission agencies as they consider possible options for the July exam in the event that shutdowns and prohibitions against large gatherings remain in effect.

Will the August MPRE be administered as scheduled?
At this time, the MPRE scheduled for August 11 and 12 at Pearson VUE testing centers is scheduled to proceed as planned. Any changes will be communicated with candidates via email and posted on our website. Pearson VUE is posting related updates to its website.

Karen Sloan (Law.com), July Bar Exam Alternatives Under Consideration Amid COVID-19:

The July bar exam is still more than four months away, but a group of legal educators are imploring bar officials to make a decision now about alternatives to the licensing exam amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a working paper titled “The Bar Exam and COVID-19: The Need for Immediate Action,” the authors—11 law professors and education policy experts—lay out six options for how to deal with the law students who are graduating this year, arguing that it will be impossible to administer the bar exam in the traditional manner this year. ...

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blackman: Law Students Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Students Quietly Agree With My Post on Pass/Fail Grading:

CoronavirusYesterday, I blogged that professors quietly support my views on pass/fail grading. Since then, I have received several emails from students. They note there is quiet support for my view, but many students are afraid of being shamed by classmates on social media. I post here two such messages, with slight edits.

First:

Thank you for sharing your platform with us. You have no idea how validating it is to know that professors also share the same views on the pass/fail grading system. I have taken the brunt of the attacks on social media. I have to admit that I am concerned about my reputation among my peers, but it is what it is. Here are my thoughts:

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

2021 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Environmental Law Rankings include the environmental law programs at 184 law schools (the faculty survey had a 56% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Lewis & Clark
1 4.5 UC-Berkeley
3 4.4 Pace
4 4.3 UCLA
5 4.2 Vermont
6 4.1 Columbia
6 4.1 NYU
6 4.1 Oregon
9 4.0 Utah
10 3.9 Georgetown
10 3.9 Harvard
10 3.9 Stanford
10 3.9 Colorado
10 3.9 Maryland
15 3.8 Florida State
15 3.8 George Washington
17 3.7 Tulane
17 3.7 Vanderbilt
19 3.6 Duke
20 3.5 Arizona State
20 3.5 UC-Hastings
20 3.5 UC-Davis
20 3.5 Florida
20 3.5 Minnesota
20 3.5 Yale
26 3.4 Denver
26 3.4 Houston
26 3.4 Texas
26 3.4 Virginia
30 3.3 Hawaii
31 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
31 3.2 Washington
33 3.1 Boston College
33 3.1 Arizona
33 3.1 UC-Irvine
33 3.1 New Mexico
37 3.0 American
37 3.0 Texas A&M
37 3.0 Michigan
37 3.0 North Carolina
41 2.9 Cornell
41 2.9 Penn State (Univ. Park)
41 2.9 Montana
41 2.9 Penn
41 2.9 Wisconsin
41 2.9 Wake Forest
41 2.9 Widener (PA)
41 2.9 William & Mary
49 2.8 Emory
49 2.8 Loyola-New Orleans
49 2.8 Northwestern
49 2.8 Idaho
49 2.8 Wyoming
49 2.8 Widener (DE)

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 26, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The New Normal At Pepperdine Caruso Law Online

Yesterday was a great example of the new normal at Pepperdine Caruso Law, where we are shifting what we normally do in person to Zoom: meetings, 1L Moriarity Moot Court Competition (where we unfortunately experienced a Zoombombing), and Wednesday night dean's bible study:

Zoom Uniform

Moot Court

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

'People Are Pissed': Pass/Fail Grading Controversy Roils Law Schools

Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'People Are Pissed': Pass/Fail Grading Controversy Roils Law Schools:

CoronavirusGrading has emerged as a flash point of discord at law schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, with students and faculty pushing administrators to choose between traditional grades and a pass/fail system.

The University of Chicago Law School on Tuesday became the first among the top 10 schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, to tell students that it plans to stick with its traditional grading scale for the spring semester, instead of moving to pass/fail grading. That decision comes in contrast to a growing number of elite schools that have already committed to pass/fail grades for the spring semester or winter quarters. ...

Meanwhile, law professors have taken to blogs and other outlets to debate the issue. Some are arguing that pass/fail grading is the most humane approach during this deeply unsettling time, while others say that students must learn to prevail amid adverse conditions.

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March 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Test-At-Home Option During Coronavirus May Be Attractive To Applicants At 50+ Law Schools That Accept The GRE

GRECWith the cancellation of the March LSAT and the uncertain fate of the April LSAT, the GRE may be increasingly attractive for applicants to any of the fifty-plus ABA-accredited law schools that accept the GRE for admissions (Akron, American, Arizona, Baltimore, Boston University, Brooklyn, Buffalo, BYU, California-Western, Cardozo, Chicago, Chicago-Kent, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, Georgetown, Harvard, Hawaii, John Marshall (Chicago), Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Northwestern, Notre Dame, NYU, Pace, Pennsylvania, Penn State-Dickinson, Penn State-University Park, Pepperdine, Seattle, Seton Hall, SMU, South Carolina, St. John's, Suffolk, Texas, Texas A&M, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, UC-Hastings, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington University, and Yale.  Two law schools (Georgia and UC-Berkeley) allow students enrolled in another graduate program to submit the GRE.)

ETS has announced:

To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE® General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option in selected areas. [As of March 23, 2020, the at home test is available in the United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong (China) and Macau (China). The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®.

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Assessment In Online Law School Classes

Emily Grant (Professor of Law & Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Washburn), Assessment in Online Classes:

CoronavirusAs assessment committee chair (and just a fan of the assessment Kool-Aid generally), I wanted to reach out (and was invited to do by colleagues) with some suggestions for assessment in the online version of your classes.

First, in terms of summative (end of the semester) assessment, I imagine that’s going to be a faculty-wide conversation. I do offer this link to Larry Cunningham’s blog, raising some questions to ponder as we decide how to move forward with finals.

Next, in terms of formative assessment, I’ve got some ideas (with apologies in advance for how long this is!).  And I’m sure others may have as well — please chime in!

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

100% Of Higher Education Has Shifted Online Due To The Coronavirus

PhilOnEdTech, US Higher Ed Set to Go Fully Online in Just Four Weeks Due to COVID-19:

At this point it is clear that traditional face-to-face (f2f) instruction for higher education in the US has ended for the rest of the spring academic term. It appears that almost all institutions will be fully online by the week of April 6th, 1 which is just four weeks after the first announcements of emergency closures and moves online announced March 6th

Tech

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

2021 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings include the dispute resolution programs at 98 law schools (the faculty survey had a 51% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Harvard
2 4.4 Ohio State
3 4.3 Pepperdine
3 4.3 Missouri (Columbia)
5 4.0 Cardozo
6 3.9 Mitchell Hamline
6 3.9 Northwestern
6 3.9 Texas A&M
6 3.9 UNLV
10 3.8 Arizona State
10 3.8 Marquette
10 3.8 Oregon
13 3.7 Fordham
13 3.7 UC-Hastings
13 3.7 Maryland
16 3.6 NYU
16 3.6 Texas
18 3.5 Quinnipiac
18 3.5 Stanford
18 3.5 Virginia
18 3.5 William & Mary
22 3.4 Cornell
22 3.4 Suffolk
22 3.4 UC-Irvine
25 3.3 Duke
25 3.3 Georgetown
25 3.3 Temple
25 3.3 UC-Davis
25 3.3 UCLA
25 3.3 Kansas
25 3.3 Washington University
32 3.2 Pace
32 3.2 UC-Berkeley
32 3.2 Penn
32 3.2 USC
32 3.2 Vanderbilt
37 3.1 Columbia
37 3.1 St. John's
37 3.1 Tulane
37 3.1 Florida
37 3.1 Michigan
37 3.1 Wisconsin
37 3.1 Yale
44 3.0 George Washington
44 3.0 Santa Clara
44 3.0 South Texas
44 3.0 Washington & Lee
48 2.9 American
48 2.9 Boston College
48 2.9 Creighton
48 2.9 Lewis & Clark
48 2.9 Northeastern
48 2.9 Chicago
48 2.9 North Carolina
48 2.9 St. Thomas (MN)

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 25, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blackman: Law Professors Quietly Oppose Pass/Fail Grading

Following up on Monday's posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Professors Quietly Agree With My Post on Pass/Fail Grading:

Blackman (2020)"I was just steamrolled by my faculty on this — almost everyone but me joined the copy HARVARD-STANFORD train."

Yesterday, I published a lengthy post about grading for the Spring 2020 semester. I knew the post would be unpopular in certain quarters. First, many professors have long opposed grading on a curve; I criticize a deeply-held position. Second, many students will oppose my position. The bulk of the class falls along the middle of the curve. They would stand to benefit from a pass/fail grading system. Students at either tail-end would be harmed from a pass/fail mandate. Third, some people may view my position as insufficiently compassionate. Fair enough. Empathy was never my strong suit.

But I knew that my post would resonate in other quarters. There are some professors who vigorously oppose the pass/fail movement. They are less likely to publicly state their views for the three reasons I mention above, and others: they do not wish to alienate their colleagues. But they privately messaged me.

One professor wrote, "Just saw your article on law school credit/no credit grading and wanted to let you know that you nailed it. I was just steamrolled by my faculty on this — almost everyone but me joined the copy HARVARD-STANFORD train." Another wrote, "Great stuff. We are trying to stick to our guns, but it is getting increasingly hard." A third wrote, "The University informed our law school that we could not have a pass/fail option. We can only do all standard grading or all pass/fail. Seems pretty stupid to force us into that choice, but there we are." And so on.

I am not optimistic my position will prevail at law schools nationwide. But I hope my post gave some voice to professors who can respectfully dissent.

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

2019 Summer Associate Offers (98%) Hit All-Time High, But Coronavirus Casts Shadow Over 2020 Summer Programs

NALP, Perspectives on 2019 Law Student Recruiting:

NALPThe report shows robust recruiting activity in 2019, with offer rates coming out of summer programs reaching historic highs. However, the data also suggests that the regrowth in summer program and entry-level recruiting since the Great Recession may be tapering off. The annual report details recruitment activity on campus and at job fairs in 2019; provides information on summer program characteristics; and provides information on the outcomes of 2019 summer programs and of fall 2019 recruiting for both second-year summer associates and entry-level associates not previously employed by that employer.

Perspectives Report Significant Findings:

  • The aggregate offer rate coming out of summer programs increased to nearly 98%, a historic high for a second year in a row.
  • The acceptance rate on these offers remained at 88%, a historical high in both 2018 and 2019, and significantly higher than the pre-recession norm of overall acceptance rates of about 73 to 77 percent. 

NALP 2

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March 25, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Brooks Presents Redesigning Education Finance: How Student Loans Outgrew the 'Debt' Paradigm Online Today At Georgetown

John Brooks (Georgetown) presents Redesigning Education Finance: How Student Loans Outgrew the "Debt" Paradigm, 109 Geo. L.J. ___ (2019) (with Adam J. Levitin (Georgetown)), online at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series:

Brooks (John)Federal student loans are fundamentally different from any other type of credit product: they do not require the full repayment of all principal and accrued interest. Instead, borrowers have the contractual right to satisfy their obligations by paying only a percentage of their income for a fixed period of time. In other words, debt forgiveness is contractually baked into the student loan product.

This and other unusual features of federal student loans reveal that the economic structure of student loans has evolved to resemble a federal grant program coupled with a progressive income-based tax on recipients, rather than a true debt product. The education finance system, however, still relies on the legal, financial, and institutional apparatus of “debt” that developed under the pre-2010 structure of the education finance system, which was based on private loans backed by federal government guarantees, rather than today’s direct federal lending program. These legal, financial, and institutional structures are a mismatch with the current program’s economic realities and policy goals.

This Article argues that nearly all of the problems in education finance, including high levels of default, abusive servicing, and even the very idea of a student debt crisis arise from the frictions between the legal and institutional apparatus of “debt” and the economic reality of subsidized finance and progressive, income-based repayment and debt forgiveness.

Accordingly, this Article argues for calling federal student loans what they really are—a tuition grant plus an income surtax on students.

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March 24, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (1)

Graduate Law Degrees Soar Online

Following up on my previous post, Non-JD Enrollment Continues To Soar:  Up, Up and Away, Nat'l Jurist, Spr. 2020, at 17:

Non-JDGraduate law degree programs are soaring online, thanks to ease of use and the flexibility they offer busy professionals.

More and more people are going to law school and never leaving their homes — or their local coffee shops.

Have a computer? Have at it.

And many students are, particularly those pursuing a law related master’s degree, such as a Master of Laws (LL.M.) or a Master of Studies in Law (MSL).

Consider the growth of these online degree programs. In 2013, there were 1,677 students enrolled in them. By 2019, that number had skyrocketed to 7,378, a 440% increase. The number of law schools offering such online degrees has also climbed since 2013, from 22 to 65.

While the number of J.D. students has been declining since the Great Recession, the opposite is happening with non-J.D. law students. Recent figures show 19,819 online and on-campus non-J.D. students, up from 11,132 in 2013.

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March 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hillary Clinton, 880,000 Others Have Viewed Arkansas Law Prof's Online Crim Pro Lecture

Karen Sloan (Law.com), With Law Students Jittery, Profs Try to Engage Them Online:

From amusing lecture videos to daily video chats with the dean, law schools are scrambling to provide student support and foster interaction amid the quick shift to online classes.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symphony In The Age Of Coronavirus

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven's 9th Symphony

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

2021 U.S. News Criminal Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Criminal Law Rankings include the criminal law programs at 188 law schools (the faculty survey had a 53% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 NYU
1 4.5 Stanford
3 4.4 Harvard
3 4.4 UC-Berkeley
5 4.3 Georgetown
6 4.2 Columbia
6 4.2 Penn
6 4.2 Virginia
6 4.2 Yale
10 4.1 Duke
10 4.1 UCLA
10 4.1 Chicago
10 4.1 Michigan
10 4.1 Vanderbilt
15 4.0 Ohio State
16 3.9 Northwestern
17 3.8 Cornell
17 3.8 Fordham
17 3.8 UC-Irvine
17 3.8 Texas
17 3.8 William & Mary
22 3.7 George Washington
22 3.7 UC-Davis
22 3.7 Minnesota
22 3.7 North Carolina
26 3.6 American
26 3.6 Brooklyn
26 3.6 Washington Univ.
29 3.5 Wake Forest
30 3.4 Boston University
30 3.4 Colorado
30 3.4 Cardozo
33 3.3 Arizona State
33 3.3 Emory
33 3.3 Loyola-L.A.
33 3.3 UC-Hastings
33 3.3 Florida
33 3.3 Georgia
33 3.3 Illinois
33 3.3 USC
33 3.3 Utah
33 3.3 Wisconsin
43 3.2 Boston College
43 3.2 Indiana (Maurer)
43 3.2 SMU
43 3.2 Alabama
43 3.2 Denver
43 3.2 Iowa
43 3.2 Notre Dame
43 3.2 Richmond
43 3.2 Washington
43 3.2 Washington & Lee

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 24, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action

Claudia Angelos (NYU), Sara Berman (AccessLex), Mary Lu Bilek (CUNY), Carol Chomsky (Minnesota), Andrea Anne Curcio (Georgia State), Marsha Griggs (Washburn), Joan Howarth (UNLV; Michigan State), Eileen Kaufman (Touro), Deborah Merritt (Ohio State), Patricia Salkin (Touro) & Judith Wegner (North Carolina), The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action:

CoronavirusThe novel coronavirus COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted life in the United States. Among other challenges, jurisdictions are unlikely to be able to administer the July 2020 bar exam in the usual manner. It is essential, however, to continue licensing new lawyers. Those lawyers are necessary to meet current needs in the legal system. Equally important, the demand for legal services will skyrocket during and after this pandemic. We cannot close doors to the profession at a time when client demand will reach an all-time high.

In this brief policy paper, we outline six licensing options for jurisdictions to consider for the Class of 2020. Circumstances will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but we hope that these options will help courts and regulators make this complex decision. These are unprecedented times: We must work together to ensure we do not leave the talented members of Class of 2020 on the sidelines when we need every qualified professional on the field to keep our justice system moving.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

NALP Cannot Compel Law Firms To Move OCI To January, But Urges Communication About COVID-Related Changes

NALP Urges Members to Communicate about COVID-Related Changes (Mar. 23, 2020):

CoronavirusDear Colleague,
Never have innovation, flexibility, fairness, and wellness been more important. As our law school and legal employer members are actively working through the impact of the current situation on summer programs and recruiting plans, we urge each member institution to consider how it can best innovate through this time of crisis in a way that is fair to all while keeping in mind the wellness of all the stakeholders involved. NALP's Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process are more relevant than ever. We urge you to turn to them as you make decisions about how to proceed, and we encourage you to have frank and honest conversations with each other across the employer-school aisle as you work to make the best decisions you can under extraordinarily difficult and changing circumstances.

In recent days there have been calls for NALP to influence the upcoming recruiting process by moving it to January 2021. While it would certainly be reasonable to reevaluate the timing of recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, mandating a specific timeframe for when the recruitment season should take place is not something that NALP is able to do. NALP stands between the highly regulated world of higher education and the incredibly competitive free market of legal employment. NALP does not have authority to regulate the market. As the primary professional association for our members, however, we can embolden our members to maintain the highest ethical standards, and to strive for policies and procedures that are bound by reasonableness and that provide all members with the flexibility necessary to move forward in an incredibly uncertain marketplace.

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March 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Blackman: Law Schools Should Not Abandon Standard Grading Policies For All Students Due To The Coronavirus

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Law Schools Should Not Abandon Standard Grading Policies For All Students:

CoronavirusCOVID-19 has presented academia with novel challenges. Virtually every institution of higher education has transitioned to online instruction, almost overnight. This rapid change occurred with little planning or preparation. Students who were accustomed to learning in one fashion are now being asked to learn in a completely different fashion. This new normal will likely last the rest of the semester, and could recur again in the future.

That much is largely beyond our control. But some issues are within our control. Specifically, universities are debating what to do with the Spring 2020 semester. Should schools maintain the regular grading curve? Should some students, with demonstrated hardships, be able to request a pass/fail grading option? Should all students be given the option to request a pass/fail grading option? Should all students be graded on a pass/fail basis? Should some exams be graded pass/fail (upper-level electives) but other exams be graded with the regular curve (1L mandatory courses)? My co-blogger Jon Adler offers several recommendations.

Here, I will make three broad points. First, there has been a long-simmering movement to abolish grades altogether. This approach may work at elite institutions where most students cluster together near the top. But at other law schools, grades perform an important signaling function: students at the bottom of the curve need intervention. Eliminating grades will deny those students the help they need. Second, we should not abolish normal law school policies simply because of our current circumstances. Attorneys have a duty to their clients during crises of all manners; law students should learn that lesson personally. Third, COVID-19 will not affect all students in the same fashion. Some students will be personally affected. Others will merely be inconvenienced. Any sort of grading relief should be tailored to address individual circumstances; law schools should not adopt a blanket policy. ...

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March 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Adler: Grading In The Time Of Coronavirus — For Most Law Schools, Pass/Fail Is A Mistake

Jonathan H. Adler (Case Western), Grading in the Time of Coronavirus:

CoronavirusFor most law schools, switching to across-the-board pass/fail grading would be a mistake.

The Covid-19 pandemic is creating lots of challenges to business-as-usual. Legal education is no exception. Courses are moving online, and professors and students alike are being forced to adapt.

As noted at TaxProf blog, many schools are moving to Pass/Fail grading. UCLA's Noah Zatz makes a case for this move at The Faculty Lounge.

I understand the impetus for this shift. The disruption and dread triggered by the pandemic is real, and for many it is quite severe.  Nonetheless, I believe making all grades pass/fail (or pass/no credit) for the spring 2020 semester would be a mistake, especially for all but a handful of law schools. As I suggested to my colleagues at Case Western, I believe such a policy would be unfair to our students and send the wrong message about learning in a time of upheaval or crisis. A better alternative is to allow students pass/no-credit option (either before, or even after, receiving their grades). Let me explain why.

As a general principle, we should be compassionate to students who face difficult circumstances. But compassion does not mean anything goes. We generally recognize that there are good and bad ways to be compassionate. There are always students who face hardship and who, for reasons beyond their control, don't achieve their potential in a given course or semester. We make accommodations for those students on the margin, as we should, but rarely in ways that erase all the consequences of their hardship. Indeed, accommodating to that degree is often impossible to do. Significantly, we generally resist making changes that compromise other aspects of what we do as an educational institution or that potentially disadvantage other students. I think that same principle applies to the current situation.

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March 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 U.S. News Contracts/Commercial Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Contracts/Commercial Law Rankings include the contracts/commercial law programs at 188 law schools (the faculty survey had a 44% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 Columbia
1 4.7 Chicago
3 4.6 Harvard
3 4.6 NYU
3 4.6 UC-Berkeley
6 4.5 Stanford
6 4.5 Penn
8 4.4 Michigan
8 4.4 Texas
8 4.4 Yale
11 4.3 UCLA
11 4.3 Virginia
13 4.2 Georgetown
13 4.2 Northwestern
15 4.1 Cornell
15 4.1 Duke
17 3.9 Vanderbilt
18 3.8 Boston University
18 3.8 North Carolina
18 3.8 USC
21 3.7 Minnesota
21 3.7 Washington University
23 3.6 Emory
23 3.6 Fordham
23 3.6 Indiana (Maurer)
23 3.6 Ohio State
23 3.6 UC-Davis
23 3.6 Illinois
29 3.5 Boston College
29 3.5 Alabama
29 3.5 UC-Irvine
29 3.5 Wisconsin
29 3.5 William & Mary
34 3.4 Brooklyn
34 3.4 George Washington
34 3.4 Tulane
34 3.4 Houston
34 3.4 Notre Dame
39 3.3 BYU
39 3.3 Florida State
39 3.3 Florida
39 3.3 Georgia
39 3.3 Utah
39 3.3 Washington
39 3.3 Wake Forest
46 3.2 Arizona
46 3.2 UC-Hastings
46 3.2 Iowa
46 3.2 Maryland
46 3.2 Miami

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 23, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moody's Downgrades Higher Education From 'Stable' To 'Negative' Due To The Coronavirus

Chronicle Higher Education, ‘The Worst-Case Scenario’: What Financial Disclosures Tell Us About Coronavirus’s Strain on Colleges So Far:

Moody'sMoody’s Investors Service issued a bleak forecast this week for higher education in America, downgrading it from “stable” to “negative” in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The news was yet another alarming sign for colleges, many of which have been hollowed out by the past decade’s demographic changes and are now trying to determine what effect the public-health crisis and expected recession could have on their balance sheets.In issuing its forecast, on Wednesday, Moody’s cited a laundry list of factors that could drag down revenue, including “disruption in enrollment patterns, state support, endowment income and philanthropy, and research grants and contracts.”

Echoing that grim prognosis already are some colleges themselves, which in financial disclosures since the dawn of the pandemic have underlined just how little they know about its possible consequences — and just how bad things could get.

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March 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 22, 2020

NY Times: The Christian Response To The Coronavirus — Stay Home

New York Times op-ed:  The Christian Response to the Coronavirus: Stay Home, by Esau McCaulley (Wheaton College):

CoronavirusWhen loving your neighbor means keeping your distance.

The church, the actual building that houses black bodies and souls, stands at the center of black life and culture. It is a fact hiding in plain sight that one of the first cooperative economic ventures former slaves undertook was the purchase and maintenance of churches. Without the cooperation of the church, many black colleges, universities and political organizations would not exist. To this day, American black Christians attend church at a higher rate than any other ethnic group.

It is not then surprising that when terrorists wanted to strike fear in the hearts of black believers, they burn and attack our churches. Despite the trauma, the church has remained a source of hope. The marches and sit-ins of the civil rights movement were often preceded by mass worship services.

But what happens when the church is a part of the danger?

With the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly, this is not simply a question for individual church members. The pandemic forces the church as an institution to consider its role during a time of crisis. Many religious communities are suspending their typical operations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has stopped services worldwide. The Catholic Church in Rome shuttered its doors temporarily. Much of Washington State has done the same. What should we think about this? Are Christians abandoning their responsibility to the sick and suffering?

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March 22, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

C.S. Lewis: Studying Law In The Age Of Coronavirus

C. S. Lewis, Learning in War-Time (sermon preached in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, Autumn 1939):

CoronavirusA University is a society for the pursuit of learning. As students, you will be expected to make yourselves, or to start making yourselves, in to what the Middle Ages called clerks: into philosophers, scientists, scholars, critics, or historians. And at first sight this seems to be an odd thing to do during a great war. What is the use of beginning a task which we have so little chance of finishing? Or, even if we ourselves should happen not to be interrupted by death or military service, why should we — indeed how can we — continue to take an interest in these placid occupations when the lives of our friends and the liberties of Europe are in the balance? Is it not like fiddling while Rome burns?

Now it seems to me that we shall not be able to answer these questions until we have put them by the side of certain other questions which every Christian ought to have asked himself in peace-time. I spoke just now of fiddling while Rome burns. But to a Christian the true tragedy of Nero must be not that he fiddles while the city was on fire but that he fiddles on the brink of hell. ... [E]very Christian who comes to a university must at all times face a question compared with which the questions raised by the war are relatively unimportant. He must ask himself how it is right, or even psychologically possible,for creatures who are every moment advancing either to heaven or to hell, to spend any fraction of the little time allowed them in this world on such comparative trivialities as literature or art, mathematics or biology. If human culture can stand up to that, it can stand up to anything. To admit that we can retain our interest in learning under the shadow of these eternal issues, but not under the shadow of a European war, would be to admit that our ears are closed to the voice of reason and very wide open to the voice of our nerves and our mass emotions. ...

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March 22, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: This Evangelical Megachurch In Ohio Isn’t What You Think

Wonderful New York Times op-ed about our former church in Cincinnati:  This Evangelical Megachurch in Ohio Isn’t What You Think, by Chuck Mingo (Pastor, Crossroads Church), Lynn Watts (Spiritual Growth Director, Crossroads Church) & Troy Jackson (State Strategies Director, Faith in Action):

Crossroads Fastest GrowingEvery Sunday, about 50,000 people listen to the sermon from Crossroads Church in Ohio, which has one of us, Mr. Mingo, as a pastor. Crossroads is the third-largest church in America and 80 percent white, but it rejects many of the tropes associated with the religious right. Instead of demanding that congregants conform to a set of ideological beliefs, it asks that they open themselves to being challenged, offended or uncomfortable, especially about race. And it’s striking a chord: Crossroads is among the top three fastest-growing churches in the country.

In 2015, the national policing controversy arrived in Cincinnati when a police officer killed an unarmed black man. Mr. Mingo, who is black, felt called to be a voice for racial reconciliation. With the approval of the head pastor of Crossroads, who is white, a six-week program on racial reconciliation called Undivided was born. Participants were placed in small, multiracial groups where they held meaningful conversations and connect to fundamental truths about being Christians.

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March 22, 2020 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

  1. U.S, News & World Report, Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)
  2. Wall Street Journal, The IRS Proves The Left’s Favorite Economists Wrong:The Rich Really Do Not Pay Lower Taxes Than You
  3. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 100% Of Law Schools Have Moved Online Due To The Coronavirus
  4. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: The Two Postmark Rule And The Rule Of Law
  5. Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists, Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research
  6. Seth Oranburg (Duquesne), Josh Blackman (South Texas), Howard Wasserman (Florida International), and Diane Klein (La Verne), Law Teaching In The Age Of Coronavirus
  7. U.S. News & World Report, 2021 Tax Rankings
  8. U.S. News & World Report, 2021 Business/Corporate Law Rankings
  9. U.S. News & World Report, 2021 Clinical Training Rankings
  10. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Pepperdine’s Place In The 2021 U.S. News Law School Rankings

March 21, 2020 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink | Comments (0)

2021 U.S. News Constitutional Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Constitutional Law Rankings include the constitutional law programs at 188 law schools (the faculty survey had a 57% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.9 Yale
2 4.8 Harvard
3 4.7 Stanford
4 4.6 Chicago
5 4.5 Columbia
5 4.5 NYU
7 4.4 UC-Berkeley
7 4.4 Virginia
9 4.3 Duke
9 4.3 Georgetown
11 4.2 Penn
11 4.2 Texas
13 4.1 Cornell
13 4.1 Northwestern
13 4.1 UCLA
13 4.1 Michigan
17 3.8 Vanderbilt
18 3.6 Notre Dame
19 3.5 Boston University
19 3.5 UC-Davis
19 3.5 UC-Irvine
19 3.5 Minnesota
19 3.5 Washington University
19 3.5 William & Mary
25 3.4 Fordham
25 3.4 George Washington
25 3.4 North Carolina
28 3.3 Emory
28 3.3 Ohio State
28 3.3 San Diego
31 3.2 Boston College
31 3.2 Alabama
31 3.2 Georgia
31 3.2 USC
35 3.1 Brooklyn
35 3.1 Illinois
35 3.1 Richmond
38 3.0 Arizona State
38 3.0 George Mason
38 3.0 Arizona
38 3.0 Iowa
38 3.0 Wisconsin
38 3.0 Cardozo
44 2.9 American
44 2.9 Florida State
44 2.9 Georgia State
44 2.9 Indiana (Maurer)
44 2.9 Pepperdine
44 2.9 UC-Hastings
44 2.9 Colorado
44 2.9 Maryland
44 2.9 Utah
44 2.9 Washington & Lee

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 21, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law Student Coronavirus Survival Guide

Friday, March 20, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

2021 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2021 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings include the clinical training law programs at 179 law schools (the faculty survey had a 65% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 Georgetown
2 4.4 American
2 4.4 CUNY
2 4.4 NYU
5 4.3 Yale
6 4.2 Northwestern
6 4.2 Maryland
8 4.1 Stanford
8 4.1 UC-Berkeley
8 4.1 UC-Irvine
8 4.1 Denver
8 4.1 Michigan
8 4.1 District of Columbia
14 4.0 Suffolk
14 4.0 Baltimore
14 4.0 Washington University
17 3.9 Fordham
17 3.9 New Mexico
17 3.9 Tennessee
20 3.8 Columbia
20 3.8 Seattle
22 3.7 George Washington
22 3.7 Harvard
22 3.7 Northeastern
22 3.7 Rutgers
22 3.7 Chicago
27 3.6 Boston College
27 3.6 Georgia State
27 3.6 UC-Hastings
27 3.6 UCLA
27 3.6 Penn
32 3.5 Boston University
32 3.5 Brooklyn
32 3.5 Mitchell Hamline
32 3.5 Georgia
32 3.5 Miami
32 3.5 Minnesota
32 3.5 Texas
39 3.4 Loyola-New Orleans
39 3.4 Pepperdine
39 3.4 Tulane
39 3.4 UNLV
39 3.4 South Carolina
44 3.3 Albany
44 3.3 Case Western
44 3.3 Cornell
44 3.3 Howard
44 3.3 Catholic
44 3.3 North Carolina
44 3.3 Notre Dame
44 3.3 Washington
44 3.3 Wisconsin
44 3.3 Washburn

2021 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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March 20, 2020 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

13-Minute Video On Tips For Law Professors Teaching Online

Following up on his paper, Distance Education in the Time of Coronavirus: Quick and Easy Strategies for Law Professors:  Seth Oranburg (Duquesne) has created this 13-minute video with additional tips for law professors teaching online:

TaxProf Blog coronavirus coverage:

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March 20, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

30-Minute Webinar On Using Zoom For Law School Classes

From Josh Blackman (South Texas):

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March 19, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)