Paul L. Caron

Friday, November 22, 2019

Thomas Jefferson Loses ABA Accreditation, To Continue As California-Accredited Law School

ABA, Appeals Panel Decision Notice to Affirm the Council Decision to Withdraw Approval Thomas Jefferson School of Law:

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2018)The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”), at its meeting on May 16-18, 2019, considered the status of Thomas Jefferson School of Law (the “Law School”) and determined to withdraw the approval of the Law School, located at 701 B Street, San Diego, California. The Council’s May 2019 determination follows its finding of continuing noncompliance with Standards 202(a) and (d), 301(a), and 501(b) and Interpretations 501-1 and 501-2.

The Law School appealed the Council’s May 2019 decision and an Appeals Panel (the “Panel”) appointed by the Managing Director’s Office, pursuant to Rules 30-36 of the ABA Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, reviewed the Council’s May 2019 decision. Following consideration of the record in the matter and the Law School’s and Council’s appearance at a hearing, the Panel reported to the Council and the Law School on November 21, 2019, that it affirmed the Council’s decision to withdraw approval.

Public notification of the decision of the Panel is being made pursuant to Rule 48. There is no further appeal or review of the Council’s decision within the accreditation process. Rule 44 applies and all matters related to this proceeding, other than this announcement, are confidential.

The Panel’s decision reinstates the Council’s prior decision to withdraw approval. That removal is effective on December 17, 2019, the day following the end of the fall semester’s final exam period.

As provided by Rule 29, the Law School must submit a teach-out plan for review by the Council. Preparing a plan that addresses the concerns outlined in Rule 29 and that appropriately considers the interests of the students will take some time. The details of that plan are not public. The Council expects and the Law School has stated its intention to communicate, as necessary and appropriate, with the Law School’s students throughout the period of developing the teach-out plan.  

Voice of San Diego, It’s Official: Thomas Jefferson Law School Will Lose Its National Accreditation:

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November 22, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

La Verne Foregoes ABA Accreditation, To Continue As California-Accredited Law School

The Recorder, LA-Area Law School to Remain Open, but Parts Ways With the ABA:

Laverne (2017)The University of La Verne will keep its law school open, but as a California-accredited campus instead of one blessed by the American Bar Association.

The university’s board of trustees Monday voted to convert the law school from ABA accreditation to accreditation by the State Bar of California—a move that will make it easier for the Ontario, California, campus to meet program standards. But it will also mean that graduates are only eligible to take the bar exam in California, at least initially. About 240 students are enrolled at the school.

Under the new plan, La Verne would become the first law school to drop its ABA accreditation in the wake of that body adopting tougher bar exam standards. The ABA in 2018 changed that standard, giving law schools two years instead of five years to ensure that at least 75% of their graduates pass the licensing exam.

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November 22, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

NY Times: The Big Business Of Unconscious Bias

New York Times, The Big Business of Unconscious Bias:

Companies want to avoid racism, sexism and misgendering. Consultants are standing by.

Recently, a story circulated within the diversity, equity and inclusion industry (D.E.I.), one that somehow didn’t go viral on social media: At an unnamed company, co-workers were taking their seats before a sensitivity training workshop began, when some white male employees entered as a group with targets pinned to their shirts — a sartorial statement about their anticipated persecution.

Apocryphal or not, “the story is powerful for two reasons,” said Laura Bowser, the board chair and former C.E.O. of TMI Consulting Inc., a D.E.I. strategy company in Richmond, Va., named for its two founders, but also the abbreviation meaning “too much information.” “One, it shows that there is still an utter lack of empathy and understanding about privilege and power dynamics. Second, it demonstrates how many diversity and inclusion trainings in the past have failed.”

Of late, the D.E.I. (also known as D & I) industry is booming, creating new career paths and roles. Institutions and businesses are trying to correct power imbalances, which means a growing need for experts who can help address and define issues like unconscious bias. ...

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November 21, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

W&L Law Students Demand Right To Strip George Washington And Robert E. Lee From Their Diplomas

W&L 5, Robert E. Lee on Your Diploma? Some Law Students Say 'No Thanks':

Should graduates of Washington and Lee University be able to opt out of having the visages of the university’s namesakes appear on their diplomas?

Several hundred current law students and alumni think so. They’ve circulated a petition asking the university to let students request that George Washington and Robert E. Lee’s portraits be kept off their degrees. In the current diploma design, pictures of the two men flank the university name at the top of the document.

According to the petition, the ability to receive a degree without those pictures will create a more “inclusive” atmosphere, but it stops short of detailing why some graduates may feel uncomfortable with the men appearing on their diplomas. (George Washington was a slave owner and Lee led the Confederate Army before serving as president of the Lexington, Virginia, university after the Civil War.) The goal, according to the petition, is to have diplomas that graduates are “proud” to display in their homes and offices.

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November 21, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (11)

Journal Of Legal Education Publishes New Issue

Journal of Legal Education (2018)The Journal of Legal Education has published Vol. 68, No. 2 (Winter 2019):

From The Editors

  • Camille A. Nelson (American) & Anthony E. Varona (American), From the Editors, 68 J. Legal Educ. 191 (2019)


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

Law Students, Comedians, And Mental Health

Last night, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law hosted the first public screening of Laughing Matters, a documentary about comedians and mental health by Soul Pancake, the production company of actor/comedian Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office). In light of the shocking statistics on the mental health of college students (pages 13-16) and graduate and professional students (pages 13-16), Pepperdine President Jim Gash has made student mental health and well-being one of his three top priorities, beginning with the Resilience-Informed Skills Education (RISE) Program.  The law school has similarly made student mental health and well-being a top priority.  Last night's screening and discussion was jointly sponsored by the law school, the RISE Program, and University Chaplain Sara Barton.  After the screening, panel discussion, and Q&A, we made counselors and staff available to speak to any interested students.

Soul 1A

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November 21, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Today Is Tampon Tax Day At Two Dozen Law Schools, Tampon Tax Sparks Law Student Protests:

Tax FreeLaw students across the country are taking on the so-called tampon tax on Nov. 20.

Aspiring attorneys from two dozen law schools in states that tax menstrual products plan to purchase those items and send in tax refund claims to their respective state taxation agencies as both a form of protest and a bid to raise awareness about what they view as the unfairness of such taxes.

Wednesday’s coordinated efforts are spearheaded by the Tax Free. Period project, a collaboration between the nonprofit advocacy group Period Equity and menstrual products maker Lola. Fordham University School of Law’s Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic took the lead in organizing law student participation in the action, which also includes writing to state lawmakers and state departments of revenue about the unconstitutional nature of tampon taxes.

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November 20, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (9)

Harvard Law Prof Who Was Ousted From Deanship For Representing Harvey Weinstein Failed To File Tax Returns For Nearly A Decade

Following up on my previous posts:

Sullivan v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2019-153 (Nov. 19, 2019):

Petitioner is a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and the faculty director of the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop and the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute. He did not file a Federal income tax return for 2012 or 2013; IRS records indicate that he likewise failed to file returns for 2005-2011. ...

[P]etitioner’s aggregate outstanding liability for 2012 and 2013 was $1,231,775. The bulk of this assessed liability, for 2013, appears to be attributable to petitioner’s sale during 2013, for $1,865,000, of his former residence at the Newton address.

Petitioner timely filed Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing, listing his address as the Winthrop House address. He checked the box captioned “I cannot pay balance.” Referring to the 2013 liability in particular he stated: “I did not (nor have I ever made) enough money to justify a $1.2M tax.”

On July 3, 2017, the IRS sent petitioner a letter, addressed to his Winthrop House address, acknowledging receipt of his hearing request. The letter advised him that, to be eligible for a collection alternative, he would need to file Federal income tax returns for 2012-2015 and supply a completed Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals. He did not respond to this letter and did not supply any of the requested documents. ...

Finding no abuse of discretion in any respect, we will grant summary judgment for respondent and sustain the proposed collection action.

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November 20, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, New Cases, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Longest-Serving Female Prof Sues Nebraska Law School Demanding Equal Pay With Her Male Counterparts Earning $257k-$274K

Omaha World-Herald, Longtime NU Law Professor Josephine Potuto Sues Over Unequal Pay For Women:

PotutoThe longest-serving female professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has sued the university, alleging she has received unequal pay because of her gender.

Josephine Potuto has been a law professor for 45 years and is the longest continuously serving professor in the NU College of Law, male or female.

The suit was filed Tuesday in Lancaster County District Court by her Lincoln-based attorneys, Vincent Powers and Kathleen Neary. The defendant officially is the governing board of the NU system, the Board of Regents. ...

The suit says pay discrimination has been cited for several years by the UNL Commission on the Status of Women. Further, the suit says, NU Law Dean Richard Moberly has called Potuto's situation a compelling example of gender pay disparity in the law school. ...

The NU system lists Potuto's salary as $229,460, compared with long-serving law colleagues Robert Denicola's $273,653 and Martin Gardner's $256,755. Neary said Potuto has no problem with her male colleagues' compensation, but she wants equal pay.

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November 20, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Crawford: SSRN And The (Arbitrary) Determination Of 'Scholarly' Merit

Bridget J. Crawford (Pace), SSRN and the (Arbitrary) Determination of 'Scholarly' Merit, 22 Green Bag 2d 201 (2019):

SSRN Logo (2018)This article, published in the Green Bag, investigates and critiques SSRN’s (lack of clear) criteria for classification of material as a “scholarly paper” or “other paper.” In the former category appear to be “scholarly research papers,” bibliographies, briefs filed before some courts, some (but not all) teaching materials, and some (but not all) articles published in the Green Bag, for example. In the latter category are data tables, summary book reviews, opinion pieces, advocacy and satirical papers. “Other papers” are internet-searchable but are not displayed on the author’s SSRN page. Downloads of “other papers” are not included for purposes of SSRN’s various rankings.

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November 20, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Law School As Hunger Games: Why Are Stress Levels Rising Among Law Students?

The Guardian, Legally Drained: Why Are Stress Levels Rising Among Law Students?:

Hunger Games 2Law students tend to be workaholics with very little free time, but finding the right life-work balance can be a tough task.

“One of my lecturers describes law school as being like the Hunger Games,” says law student Erin May Conely. “It can be quite cut-throat with everyone fighting for the same jobs at top law firms.”

For the 22-year-old, who is studying law at the University of Birmingham, the competitive atmosphere has led to so much stress that she has decided not to enter the profession once she graduates. She wants to go into teaching instead.

Conely’s experience is not unique. The Junior Lawyers Division’s 2019 resilience and wellbeing survey found that 93% of respondents – students, graduates, trainee solicitors and solicitors up to five years’ qualified – felt stressed. Almost half said that they had experienced poor mental health, which is a 10% increase from the year before.

It’s no secret that the legal profession can often be a high-pressure working environment; lawyers are the second most stressed professionals in the country. Some universities are therefore taking steps to help students better cope with academic pressures and the transition from legal education to a career as a lawyer.

The BPP University Law School has announced that it will introduce lessons on mindfulness, meditation, relaxation and resilience as part of their courses. Students will learn topics including “balancing work and life”, “self-care” and “getting a good night’s sleep”. ...

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November 19, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

'Penn Law' Keeps Its Name Until 2022, When It Will Become 'Penn Carey Law'

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  A Message From Dean Ted Ruger to Law School Students and Alumni:

Penn Law (2019-2022)November 18, 2019
Dear Law School students and alumni,

Just over a week ago we announced a historic and transformative $125 million gift from the W. P. Carey Foundation, the largest ever in legal education. In addition to its many ties to and longstanding support of the University of Pennsylvania, the Carey Foundation is a leading philanthropic supporter of education. 

I am writing to you in response to feedback the Law School and University have received regarding the gift and the renaming of the Law School to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and the short-form name of Carey Law, in particular. Some reactions have been very positive, some very critical, and others wonder what the future of legal education at Penn will look like thanks to these tremendous resources. All of your responses are heartening in demonstrating how deeply you care about this institution and the abiding affinity you have for it.

Much of the conversation has centered on concerns over the short-form name, instead of a focus on how the Carey Foundation gift will be used. We have heard you. Like all of you, my colleagues and I care deeply about the Law School’s history, tradition, and reputation in the academy, profession, and across the globe. Therefore, consistent with the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, which is our official name, the Law School will continue to use Penn Law as our short-form name until the start of the 2022-23 academic year, after which we will use Penn Carey Law, thereby embracing both tradition and transformation.

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November 19, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Alice Abreu Named Inaugural Director Of Temple Center For Tax Law And Public Policy


The tax faculty at Temple University Beasley School of Law is delighted to announce the launch of Temple’s Center for Tax Law and Public Policy, with Professor Alice Abreu as the inaugural director. Temple’s Tax Center not only serves as a hub for the many tax-related activities at Temple, it affirms Temple’s commitment to leadership in tax education and scholarship.

Temple Tax Faculty

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November 19, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of Florida Wants $2 Million Research Prize Won By Professors

Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘It Felt Like a Betrayal’: Researchers Won a $2-Million Prize. The University Wants to Take It.:

Florida (2020)October 24 should have been a great day for John M. Shea and Tan F. Wong, professors of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Florida.

The day before, after three years, their team — which includes three Ph.D. students and an undergraduate — won the $2-million grand prize in an artificial-intelligence competition, beating out more than 100 teams from around the world.

The message that day from the administration, however, was far from congratulatory.

“Please understand that if Shea and Wong convert university funds to personal funds,” stated the email from a university lawyer to a lawyer representing the university’s faculty union, “they will be subject to personnel action and possibly other more serious consequences.”

The battle for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contest was over. But the team had another fight, this one with its own university. Who gets to keep the prize money?

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November 19, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Monday, November 18, 2019

‘Yale or Harvard Would Never Do This’: Grads Upset Penn Law Changed Name After $125 Million Gift

Following up on my previous posts:

Philadelphia Inquirer, ‘Yale or Harvard Would Never Do This’: Grads Upset Penn Law Changed Name After $125 Million Gift:

Penn Law (2020)Did you graduate from Penn Law? Better buy your sweatshirt and other swag soon.

The University of Pennsylvania law school's name has changed to Carey Law, after a $125 million donation that included the naming rights to one of America's oldest law colleges.

Grads, faculty and students are alternately happy or furious the naming rights belong to the W.P. Carey family's foundation.

"We've received alum responses who are outraged about the change. They feel a strong attachment to the brand, as I do." said Michael Frieda, currently a third-year student at the law school. "We're just asking to maintain the Penn Law branding." ...

According to an online petition against the name change, signed by CEOs and partners from top Philly law firms, not all Penn Law alums are thrilled either. As of Wednesday, 2,200 alums and current students had signed the petition.

M. Kelly Tillery was one of the first to sign. The 1979 graduate of Penn Law is now a partner at Pepper Hamilton in Center City.

"It's an awesome, generous donation. But Yale or Harvard would never do this," Tillery said in an interview.

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November 18, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Chasing Rankings Is Starting To Strain Some Elite Universities

Chronicle of Higher Education, How Chasing Prestige Is Starting to Strain Some Elite Institutions:

The pressure to maintain elite status is starting to be reflected in the finances of some of the nation’s pre-eminent private research institutions.

Last month Northwestern University became the latest such institution to have its bond rating lowered by Moody’s Investors Service, the financial-information company. Moody’s cut the university’s rating of nearly $2.2 billion in debt, from its top grade of Aaa to Aa1, its second-highest score.

As Moody’s noted, the “pressure to invest to sustain competitiveness with other elite universities will be challenging.” ...

Northwestern is generating smaller gains from its operations than it did in previous years, Moody’s found. While tuition revenue has remained stable, Northwestern’s expenses across nearly every category have grown significantly. Of particular concern to the analysts was the university’s debt load. It tripled between the 2011 and 2018 fiscal years, from $775 million to $2.555 billion. For every dollar Northwestern earned from operations in 2014, the institution was liable for $2.60 in debt. Four years later, that ratio had ballooned to $18.10 in debt for every $1, according to Moody’s calculations.


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November 18, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The 23 Law School Naming Gifts ($3 Million - $125 Million) 3
Top Row L-R University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Bottom Row L-R Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law and University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law., What's In a Name for Law Schools? Money. Lots of It.:

In the past month alone, the University of Pennsylvania’s law school received a record-breaking $125 million from the W.P. Carey Foundation to become the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, or “Carey Law;” Pepperdine University got $50 million from real estate developer Richard Caruso and is now home to the Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law; and the University of Kentucky plans to rebrand its law school as the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law in honor of the new namesake’s $20 million gift. ...

[H]ow much would it take to get your name on Harvard Law School? An informal poll of 10 law deans and legal education experts this week yielded estimates ranging from $150 million to $1 billion, though most predictions fell in the range of $200 to $500 million. A few said the famed Cambridge school likely would never rebrand., Law School Naming Rights 60 Years in the Making:

[W]e’ve compiled data on the 23 donations that led law schools to rebrand in honor of their patrons. Our list kicks off in the 1960s with the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, but the action really picks up in the 2000s. And although there are some outliers, most of the recent naming donations fall between $20 and $50 million.

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November 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Black Male Lawyers In California Are Four Times More Likely To Be Disbarred Than White Male Lawyers

George Farkas (UC-Irvine), Discrepancies By Race and Gender in Attorney Discipline By the State Bar of California: An Empirical Analysis:

California State Bar (2019)Male attorneys have higher probation and disbarment/resignation rates than females, and that racial discrepancies are higher among males than females. The largest racial differences were between Black and White male attorneys. The probation rate for Black male attorneys was 3.2% while that for White male attorneys was 0.9%. The disbarment/resignation rate for Black male attorneys was 3.9% while that for White male attorneys was 1.0%. For Hispanic males the probation rate was 1.9% and the disbarment/resignation rate was 1.7%.

These discipline differences between White male attorneys and male attorneys of color have two components. One is the distribution of the number of complaints that a gender/race group was subject to, and the other is the rate at which attorneys in a particular gender/race group and with a given number of complaints were disciplined. Complaints come to the Bar prior to their investigation, so that only the discipline rates applied to these complaints are attributable to actions of Bar staff. Further, Black and Hispanic attorneys averaged greater numbers of complaints than White attorneys. Accordingly, we undertook simulations to estimate the probation and disbarment/resignation rates that would have been experienced by Black and Hispanic attorneys if their distribution of complaints had been the same as those of White attorneys.

The result of these simulations was to greatly reduce the size of the gender/race group disparities in discipline. For Black males, the group with the largest differences from Whites, the probation rate declined from 3.2% to 1.4% and the disbarment/resignation rate declined from 3.9% to 1.6%. These simulated rates for Black males were only about ½ of a percentage point higher than the rates for White males. Similar results were found for Black females and for Hispanics.

Table 2

Table 6

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November 17, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Harvard 1Ls: Elite Law Schools Shortchange Students By Veering Left

National Review op-ed:  Elite Law Schools Shortchange Students by Veering Left, by Eli Nachmany (J.D. 2022, Harvard) & Jacob Richards (J.D. 2022, Harvard):

Harvard Law School (2016)The conservative legal movement is in its golden age, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting America’s top law schools. At Harvard Law School, for example, which we both currently attend, originalist faculty and right-of-center educational opportunities are conspicuously lacking despite a tremendous amount of student interest. ...

At Harvard Law, despite a faculty of more than 100 tenured professors and dozens more assistant professors, clinical professors, and lecturers, there are fewer openly right-of-center professors than we can count on one hand. What’s worse, none of them focus their scholarship on originalism. ... All students would benefit from having a more ideologically diverse faculty. 

See Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam S. Chilton (Chicago), Kyle Rozema (Northwestern) & Maya Sen (Harvard), The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity, 47 J. Legal Stud. 1 (2018):

Harvard Political Ideology

At law schools across America, “law clinics” are a way for students to gain hands-on experience lawyering in exchange for academic credit. While these clinics were once a vehicle for providing free representation to indigent clients who faced asymmetries in access to justice, many clinical programs have morphed into cause lawyering and issue advocacy, shaped by priorities that reflect legal academia’s progressive consensus.

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November 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

July 2019 California Bar Exam Pass Rate Increases 9 Percentage Points (7 For CA ABA-Accredited Law Schools)

California State Bar (2019)The California State Bar has released the results from the July 2019 bar exam. The overall pass rate was 50.1%, up 9.4 percentage points from last year and the first time in six years that more than half of test-takers passed the July exam.  For California ABA-accredited law schools, the pass rate for first time test-takers was 71%, up 7 percentage points from 2018. The mean scaled MBE scored was 1428, up 24 from last year and up 17 from this year's national average of 1411.

State Bar of California Releases July 2019 Bar Exam Results:

Today the State Bar of California released the results of the July 2019 California Bar Exam, and announced that 3,886 people (50.1 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam, a rebound to the 2017 pass rate.

The State Bar also released two reports on the results: the first, an analysis by the State Bar’s psychometrician, the Research Solutions Group (RSG), concluded that “[t]he results of the … analyses indicated that the premature release of the content had no statistically significant impact on the results of the July 2019 examination.”

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November 16, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Call For Papers: Indiana Symposium On Social Equality in the Sharing Economy

Call for Participation: 2020 Social Equality in the Sharing Economy Symposium:

Indiana (2017)The “sharing economy,” also known as the “gig” or “on-demand” economy, is transforming the way people work, eat, commute, and travel by seamlessly connecting suppliers and consumers via app-based technology platforms.  It provides flexible income earning opportunities for one side and convenience and low prices for the other. However, it also creates a dizzying array of policy problems for communities of all sizes—from tax evasion and pollution to price discrimination, worker precarity, and violent protests.  The Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality (IJLSE), in collaboration with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Ostrom Workshop, is hosting a symposium on February 13th and 14th at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana to offer and debate solutions to these complex and fast-moving set of challenges.

Designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research and collaboration, as well as to amplify existing research, the Social Equality in the “Sharing Economy?” Symposium will consist of a series of keynotes, panel discussions, and paper presentations from a range of voices.

We invite original paper submissions from all relevant disciplines for the Symposium.

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November 15, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

No Legal Tech For ICE: 600 Law Profs, Law Students, Law Librarians, And Lawyers Demand That LexisNexis And Westlaw Terminate Their Contracts With ICE


ICEWe are law professors, librarians, attorneys, and law students who are deeply concerned about the role that Thomson Reuters and RELX play in human rights abuses against immigrants.

Thomson Reuters (parent company to Westlaw) and RELX plc (parent company to LexisNexis) play key roles in fueling the surveillance, imprisonment, and deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. ICE is relying on the data and technology provided by your legal search engines to track and arrest immigrants on a massive scale.

We invite other individuals and organizations to join us in demanding that these companies to end their contracts with ICE.


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November 15, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Law Schools Are Unlikely To Increase JD Enrollment As Supply Of Lawyers Continues To Outpace Demand

Indiana Lawyer, Good Growth? Lawyer Population Grows, But Supply May Outpace Demand:

The last decade has been fraught with economic uncertainty, as a recession, recovery and an expected new recession have cast a shadow over many industries, including the law. But recent data from the American Bar Association indicates the ups and downs haven’t kept people from the practice.

According to the ABA’s National Lawyer Population Survey, the number of active lawyers nationwide grew by 14.5% in the last decade, up from 1,180,386 in 2009 to 1,352,027 in 2019. ...

These numbers can be seen as a reason to celebrate in a profession that was hit hard by the Great Recession. Law school enrollment, for example, took a nosedive in the early 2010s but has remained relatively steady ever since.

But industry experts also see a potential mismatch between lawyer supply and demand, creating the risk for oversaturation. Indeed, though the employment rate for recent law school graduates is up, the actual number of jobs has declined.

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November 14, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

McCoskey & Narotzki: Education Has Been 'Dumbed-Down' in Tax Reform

Melanie McCoskey (Akron) & Doron Narotzki (Akron), Education Has Been 'Dumbed-Down' in Tax Reform, 22 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)With promises of “Make America Great Again” and tax reform for “middle-class” Americans, the current federal government administration has implied that the average American would become more prosperous under this tax system. It is no surprise that most middle-class Americans view a college education as a requirement for achieving a better life. However, under the TCJA, education has not fared well, and in reality, students from many low- and moderate-income families will face reduced scholarships from elite schools, thereby reducing diversity on these campuses. Other proposed changes to education in the original tax bill, which were later removed, are also addressed as they may hint to which direction this may go and face legislative changes in the future.

November 14, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

A New Pricing Model For A New Reality: St. John's Cuts Tuition By 33%, Reaps Record Applications And Donations

Inside Higher Ed, A New Model for a New Reality:

St. John'sSt. John's College administrators insisted they were going against the grain last year when they announced that tuition was being reduced from $52,000 to $35,000.

The leaders of the private liberal arts college contended they were different from other institutions embracing tuition resets and being criticized for taking part in what some consider a misleading pricing gimmick. St. John’s would make up for the loss of tuition revenue not by increasing enrollment or reducing financial aid, but by using a new financial model based on raising more donor dollars -- $300 million more.

Just one year later, St. John’s leaders say they’re already seeing indicators that their big bet may be paying off. A record 1,414 students applied for admission for this year’s freshman class, the first to enroll under the new pricing plan.

The college, which has campuses in Annapolis, Md., and Santa Fe, N.M., has raised $205 million in commitments toward the $300 million goal. More than $1 million came from gifts under $5,000, a first for the institution. The support will help the college “maintain an affordable tuition price and allocate significant resources to support students with real financial need,” according to the fundraising campaign. ...

St. John's is the third-oldest college in the country and a unique and respected institution with small classes, no-frills campuses and a curriculum focused exclusively on the so-called Great Books. The college is promoting the new pricing initiative as an alignment of its values “of offering an honest education at an honest price” and outlines the reasoning behind it in detail on its fundraising campaign website.

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November 14, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fired SUNY-Buffalo Law Prof Seeks To Revive Fraud Suit Against ABA For Failing To Enforce Presumptively Renewable Accreditation Standard 405(c)

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Law360, Ex-Law School Prof Seeks To Revive Fraud Suit Against ABA:

SUNY Buffalo (2019)A former law school professor urged the Seventh Circuit Wednesday to revive his fraud suit over the American Bar Association’s accreditation standards, saying misunderstandings on both sides of the bench caused his suit to get permanently tossed.

Jeffrey Malkan, who formerly taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, said a lower court misunderstood his claim for damages when it found “zero connection” between his 2008 termination and the ABA’s enforcement powers over its standards for accredited law schools.

And on his end, Malkan misunderstood that a dismissal with prejudice was the alternative he chose when he elected not to amend his complaint before appearing on the ABA's dismissal motion, he told a three-judge panel during oral argument.

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November 14, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report On California Bar's Blunder In Releasing Topics To Be Covered On The July Exam

Following up on my previous post, Five Days Before The Bar Exam, California Bar Inadvertently Released The Topics Covered On The Exam:  The Recorder, Report Reveals Frantic Scramble After California Bar Exam Blunder:

California State Bar (2014)Inadvertent human error led California’s state bar to erroneously disclose essay topics on the July 2019 bar exam six days before the test’s administration, a report commissioned by the California Supreme Court concluded.

A 19-page report [Report of the Investigation of the State Bar of California's Pre-Examination Disclosure of July 2019 Bar Exam Topics] prepared by Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni found that a bar staffer, pressured to finish work before having to proctor the two-day exam in July, mistakenly included a list of topics in an email inviting 16 law school deans to observe a test grading session later that summer. The report redacts the names of those bar staffers directly involved with the erroneous release.

Beyond the initial disclosure, the report found the bar’s harried response reflected an agency ill-prepared to handle an administrative emergency and unclear on expectations from the California Supreme Court. Bar leaders did not consult with Supreme Court justices before deciding to provide the exam topics to every applicant registered to take the test, investigators found. ...

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November 14, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Administration Considers Changing 'Carey Law' Back To 'Penn Law' After Student Backlash

Following up on my previous posts:

Daily Pennsylvanian, Admin Considers Changing 'Carey Law' Back to 'Penn Law' After Student Backlash:

Carey Law School is considering changing its shortened name back to "Penn Law" from "Carey Law" in response to overwhelming student and alumni backlash, an administrator said at a town hall meeting Monday.

Carey Law Dean of Students Felicia Lin, along with three other administrators, held an hour-and-a-half lunch Q&A session on Monday for any law students concerned about the school's renaming. The meeting comes after more than 1,500 students and alumni signed a petition demanding the school revert its short-form name from "Carey Law" back to "Penn Law," arguing that employers will not recognize the new name. ...

Several "Penn Law is now Carey Law" banners were unfurled on posts outside several law school buildings during the afternoon meeting and were taken down as of the evening. ...

Dean Ted Ruger and Carey Law administrators are considering various options for the acceptable short-form names and their appearance on the website. ...

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November 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Gender Gap In Invited Scholarly Commentaries

Inside Higher Ed, Gender Gap in Invited Commentaries:

The odds of women writing invited commentaries in medical journals are 21 percent lower than for men, even when controlling for field of expertise, seniority and publication record. The finding, published in JAMA Network Open, is based on a study of who authored these prestigious commentaries in nearly 2,500 journals over four years, through 2017.

Emma Thomas (Harvard), Bamini Jayabalasingham (Elsevier), Tom Collins (Elsevier), Jeroen Geertzen (Elsevier), Chinh Bui (Elsevier) & Francesca Dominici (Harvard), Gender Disparities in Invited Commentary Authorship in 2459 Medical Journals:

Question Is gender associated with authorship of invited commentaries in medical journals among authors with comparable scientific credentials?

Findings In this case-control study of invited commentaries published in 2459 journals from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017, the odds of authoring an invited commentary were 21% lower for women compared with men who had similar fields of expertise and publication metrics among researchers who had been actively publishing for the median of 19 years.

Medical 1

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November 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Six Largest Law School Gifts, Keep Your Chump Change. Here Are the Largest Law School Donations on Record:

In the past three weeks alone, the University of Pennsylvania announced a record-breaking $125 million donation to its law school; Pepperdine University snagged a $50 million donation for its law school; and the University of Kentucky College of Law received a $20 million gift. Multimillion dollar donations are hardly new, but the pace of such gifts appears to be picking up.

Here, we’re counting down the six largest law school donations on record, each of which is $50 million or more.

1.  Pennsylvania Carey $150 million (2019)
2.  Arizona Rogers $115 million (1998)
3.  Northwestern Pritzker $100 million (2015)
4.  Chapman Fowler $55 million (2013)
5.  Drexel Kline $50 million (2014)
5.  Pepperdine Caruso $50 million (2019)

November 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Donor Who Made $40 Million Naming Gift Sues Law School For Failing To Print His Name On All Degrees

Globe & Mail, Donor Peter Allard Sues UBC, Demands His Name Be Printed on All Law Degrees:

UBC Logo (2019)A prominent donor who gave tens of millions of dollars to the University of British Columbia and whose name adorns the law school is taking the university to court for failing to ensure his name is also on the school’s graduate degrees.

Peter Allard, a lawyer and UBC graduate, gave $10-million to UBC in 2011 in part to fund the construction of a new law school building. In 2014, Mr. Allard made another donation of $30-million and the school itself was renamed the Peter A. Allard School of Law.

The donation agreement signed in 2014 specified that degree certificates granted by the law school would bear the name “Peter A. Allard School of Law.” But graduate degrees (master’s and doctorate) in law have not reflected the name change.

UBC has argued that those degrees are conferred by the faculty of graduate and postdoctoral studies, not the law school, and therefore are excluded from the agreement.

Mr. Allard and his lawyers have tried to get this changed and are now pursuing UBC through the courts. An arbitrator sided with UBC this year, saying that university officials did not address the question of graduate degrees during the negotiations over Mr. Allard’s gift.

November 13, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Beware Search Committees: Faculty CVs Often Are Too Good to Be True

Inside Higher Ed, When CVs Are Too Good to Be True:

When we think about academic misconduct, we tend to think about misrepresentation of research findings or plagiarism. But a new study says that misrepresentation of academic achievements on CVs is a problem requiring attention, too [Trisha Phillips (West Virginia), R. Kyle Saunders (Florida State), Jeralynn Cossman (West Virginia) & Elizabeth Heitman (Texas), Assessing Trustworthiness in Research: A Pilot Study on CV Verification].

For their experiment, the researchers collected each and every curriculum vitae submitted for all faculty positions at a large, purposely unnamed research university over the course of a year. Then they let the CVs sit for 18 to 30 months to allow any pending articles to mature into publications that they could verify.

To make the data set manageable, the researchers eventually analyzed 10 percent of the sample for accuracy. Of the 180 CVs reviewed, 141, or 78 percent, claimed to have at least one publication. But 79 of those 141 applicants (56 percent) had at least one publication on their CV that was unverifiable or inaccurate in a self-promoting way, such as misrepresenting authorship order.

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November 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chilton & Masur: What Should Law School Rankings Measure And How Should We Measure it — A Comment On Heald & Sichelman's Rankings

Adam S. Chilton (Chicago) & Jonathan S. Masur (Chicago), What Should Law School Rankings Measure and How Should We Measure it: A Comment on Heald & Sichelman's Rankings, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019) (reviewing Paul J. Heald (Illinois) & Ted M. Sichelman (San Diego), Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019)):

There are obvious benefits to ranking academic departments based on objective measures of faculty research output. However, there are considerable difficulties associated with producing reliable and accurate rankings. In this short comment, we offer an evaluation of Heald & Sichelman's recent foray into the project of ranking law schools. Heald & Sichelman are to be commended for the transparency and rigor of their rankings effort. At the same time, it is important to note that their rankings involve a series of contestable discretionary choices and could give rise to potential counter-productive gaming by law schools seeking to improve their place in the rankings. In particular, Heald & Sichelman's system places a thumb on the scale on behalf of more senior faculty who publish in traditional law reviews and write in popular substantive areas like constitutional law.

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November 12, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Student Petition Opposes Former Republican Senator Scott Brown's Selection As New England Law School's Next Dean Due To His 'Repugnant Political And Moral Beliefs'

Following up on Sunday's post, Ambassador Scott Brown Named New England Law School Dean, Replacing Nation's Longest Serving (And Perhaps Highest Paid) Dean:  Boston Globe, Student Petition Opposes Scott Brown’s Appointment as Next President of New England Law:

New England Law Logo (2013)More than 150 students at New England Law Boston appear to have signed a petition demanding the school’s board of trustees reverse its decision to appoint Scott Brown dean and president.

The letter excoriating Brown’s political stances, endorsement of President Trump, and service in his administration had 165 signatures as of Monday afternoon, according its primary author, three days after the school announced the former US senator and current US ambassador to New Zealand would lead the 725-student law school.

“Ambassador Brown cannot serve as the Dean of New England Law Boston when his political and moral beliefs are so repugnant to those of the student body and the legal institution itself,” the petition said. ...

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November 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

Department Of Education Rejects Grand Canyon University's Attempt to Convert From For-Profit To Non-Profit Status

Inside Higher Education, Surprise for Grand Canyon's Nonprofit Conversion:

Grand Canyon LogoGrand Canyon University announced last year that it had succeeded in a second bid to convert from a for-profit to a nonprofit institution, winning almost all of the needed approvals. But the one exception -- the Trump administration’s Education Department -- has ruled to the contrary.

The surprising decision by the department, announced Wednesday by the university’s for-profit holding company and first reported by Education Dive, raises questions about ongoing efforts by other for-profit colleges to change their tax status.

Grand Canyon said Wednesday that it will challenge the department’s move to treat it as a for-profit under federal aid laws. ...

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November 12, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, November 11, 2019

Hundreds Sign Petition To Change 'Carey Law' Back To 'Penn Law'

Following up on Saturday's post, Penn Receives $125 Million Naming Gift, Largest Gift Ever To A Law School:  The Daily Pennsylvanian, Hundreds Sign Petition Calling to Change New 'Carey Law' Name Back to 'Penn Law':

Penn Law (2020)Penn's law school renaming to "University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School" prompted backlash from students and alums shortly after the announcement on Friday.

More than 500 students and alumni signed a petition demanding the school revert its short-form name from "Carey Law" back to "Penn Law" as of Sunday evening because the prestige of the "Penn Law" name is important when finding jobs. While students understood the full name could not be changed back, they also criticized the lack of transparency in the process of renaming and that the University agreed to name an academic institution after a corporation.

Penn's law school renaming to "University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School" prompted backlash from students and alums shortly after the announcement on Friday.

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November 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sisk: Citations — 'A Valid, If Imperfect, Proxy For Faculty Scholarly Impact On A National Scale'

Gregory C. Sisk (St. Thomas-Minnesota), Measuring Law Faculty Scholarly Impact by Citations: Reliable and Valid for Collective Faculty Ranking, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019) (reviewing Paul J. Heald (Illinois) & Ted M. Sichelman (San Diego), Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019)):

No single metric of faculty scholarly activity can fully capture every individual contribution. For that reason, evaluating a single professor’s scholarly work requires a nuanced, multifaceted, and individually focused assessment. However, for a contemporary sketch of the collective scholarly impact of a law school faculty, citation measurements in the legal literature are both reliable and valid.

The new Heald-Sichelman study of citations in the HeinOnline database confirms the reliability of the multiyear results of the Leiter-Sisk Scholarly Impact Ranking based on the Westlaw journals database. Despite using a different law journal database, counting citations differently, including pre-tenure faculty, and even adding download statistics into the mix, the Heald-Sichelman ranking correlates powerfully at 0.88 with the most recent Leiter-Sisk ranking. An objective citation measurement is time-sensitive and corresponds to informed awareness of law school faculty developments around the country. A citation-based ranking thus is a valid, if imperfect, proxy for faculty scholarly impact on a national scale.

With appropriate qualifications and necessary adjustments, a citation-based ranking should be considered in any evaluation of the overall quality of a law school faculty. For the U.S. News ranking of American law schools, an up-to-date, citation-based ranking would have considerable merit as an objective forward-directed control to the subjective past-looking academic reputation survey. ...

In an ideal world of infinitely elastic resources, the eternity of time, and omniscient observers, every individual law professor and every law school’s faculty would be fully known, sensitively understood, and thoroughly evaluated based on complete, detailed, and nuanced information. A dean or faculty committee conducting an annual evaluation of an individual faculty member may conduct a more focused individualized assessment. Similarly, a candidate for a faculty position at a particular law school may have the opportunity for a more targeted exploration of the scholarly culture and activity and arrive at a more specified assessment of that school’s progress as a scholarly community.

When comparing large numbers of law faculties across the country, however, a generalized assessment approach has considerable merit and the imperfections of a robust proxy for scholarly accomplishment will wash out at the macro level. That is no reason to be insensitive to flaws in a particular method or to resist adjustments that improve the accuracy and meaning of the results, even if at the margins. And honesty demands acknowledging the limitations of any single approach, allowing the reader to avoid ascribing perfect confidence.

With those qualifications in mind, a citation-based measurement of law faculty scholarly impact has proven to be a reliable method and should be recognized as a valid if imperfect proxy for faculty scholarly achievement. Citation ranking has established itself as a worthwhile factor in comparative assessment of law faculty scholarly impact.

November 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Heald & Sichelman: The Top 100 Law School Faculties In Citations (Hein) And Impact (SSRN Downloads)

Paul J. Heald (Illinois) & Ted M. Sichelman (San Diego), Ranking the Academic Impact of 100 American Law Schools, 60 Jurimetrics J. ___ (2019):

U.S. News & World Report and rankings-minded scholars have constructed several measures of faculty impact at U.S. law schools, but each has been limited in a variety of ways. For instance, the U.S. News “peer assessment” rankings rely on the qualitative opinions of a small group of professors and administrators and largely mirror the overall rankings (correlations of 0.96 in 2016). While the scholarly rankings improve upon U.S. News by using the quantitative measure of citation counts, they have relied on the Westlaw database, which has notable limitations. Additionally, these rankings have failed to capture the component of scholarly impact on the broader legal community. We overcome these limitations by offering citation-based rankings using the more comprehensive Hein database and impact rankings based on Social Science Research Network (SSRN) download counts, as well as a combination of the two metrics.

Notably, we find a high correlation with the previous scholarly rankings (about 0.88), but a significantly lower correlation with the U.S. News peer assessment rankings (about 0.63). Specifically, we find that many law schools in dense urban areas with large numbers of other law schools that are highly ranked in the U.S. News survey are underrated in the U.S. News peer assessment rankings relative to our faculty impact metrics. Given the relatively low correlation between our rankings and the U.S. News peer assessment rankings—and the fact the U.S. News peer assessment rankings largely track its overall rankings—we strongly support U.S. News’s plans to rank schools on the basis of citation counts and recommend that U.S. News adopt a quantitative-based metric as a faculty reputation component of its overall rankings. ...

Here, pursuant to our suggested weighting discussed earlier, we combine the SSRN and Hein scores equally. Because SSRN download counts are substantially higher than Hein citation counts, we determine the number of standard deviations (z-score) from each school’s score from the mean for that metric, then average the SSRN and Hein z-scores together for a final score.

Table 3. Ranking by SSRN Download and Hein Citation Metrics

Combined Ranking


Total SSRN Score

Hein Total Score

SSRN Z-score






































































































G. Mason










































St. Thomas


































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November 11, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Ambassador Scott Brown Named New England Law School Dean, Replacing Nation's Longest Serving (And Perhaps Highest Paid) Dean

Boston Globe, After New Zealand, Here’s What Scott Brown (Yes, That One) Is Doing Next:

Brown 2Scott Brown, the Wrentham selectman turned state representative turned state senator turned US senator turned US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, will have a new title at the end of next year: law school dean.

Brown and New England Law Boston announced Friday that Brown will become president and dean of the law school in December 2020 after completing his time as ambassador.

“It’s an exciting opportunity, something new and interesting,” he said in a telephone interview from New Zealand, where he’s been the top American diplomat since 2017. “I was a law student. I was a solo practitioner. I’ve been in JAG (judge advocate general). I’ve written laws as state rep, state senator, US senator.”

Brown, 60, said he is looking forward to working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students. He said he is also excited for the public-facing part of the job, from fund-raising to boosting the profile of the downtown Boston school in the region and beyond.

Brown replaces John O'Brien, who is America's longest serving dean (32.5 years when Brown takes over in December 2020). O'Brien's $867,000 salary drew scrutiny from The Boston Globe in 2013 amidst soaring tuition and declining job prospects for New England Law Boston graduates. The Globe reported at the time that O'Brien's salary was higher than other law school deans. According to the most recent information available (2017), O'Brien's compensation is $800,000. reports that the average law school dean salary is $291,952 and a typical range of $254,086 - $341,151. 

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November 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo: Being A Christian Leader

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Being a Christian Leader:

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Good morning, everyone.  (Cheers.)  Good morning.  Good morning, thank you.  Thank you.  Good morning.  Good morning, everyone.  Thank you, Dr. Clinton, for that kind introduction.  It’s great to be with you and your wife, Julie.  It’s a real privilege to be with you, and it’s a heck of a deal to be out of Washington today.  (Laughter.)  I was going to give you some wisdom, said maybe you’ll hold your conference there next year, but I thought about it and that’d be a bad idea.  (Laughter.)  But Washington could use your spirit and your love.

And I want, too, to take just a moment to pass along – I spoke to the President yesterday, and I told him I was coming down here.  He reminded me that Tennessee won the country.  (Laughter.)  I told him I knew that.  But he said to send his regards and his love and his appreciation for what you do taking care of people all around the world.

I did want to talk to you about why I’m here.  I’m the Secretary of State.  I spend most of my time traveling around the world, but I wanted to come here because I have a profound appreciation for your mission.  And when I had a chance to talk to Tim about the opportunity to come speak with you, I was thrilled to get the chance.

Look, we share some things in common.  We talk to people through hard times.  We find ourselves in the middle of disputes and we seek to mediate them and try and identify their root causes.  We try to keep conflict minimized, at bay.  And when you think about those missions, the missions that you all have, it sounds a lot like the diplomacy that me at the State Department and my team engage in every day.

We’re both in very people-intensive lines of work, and we’re both appealing to the hearts and minds to change behaviors.  As believers, we draw on the wisdom of God to help us get it right, to be a force for good in the life of human beings.

Now, I know that even having just said that, I know some people in the media will break out the pitchforks when they hear that I ask God for direction in my work.  (Applause.)  But you should know, as much as I’d like to claim originality, it is not a new idea.  (Laughter.)  I love this quote from President Lincoln.  He said that he – he said, quote, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  (Laughter.)

And so with that in mind, I want to use my time today to think about what it means to be a Christian leader, a Christian leader in three areas:

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November 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times: Should You Try Dopamine Fasting — The Latest Silicon Valley Fad — For A Better, Saner Life?

New York Times, How to Feel Nothing Now, in Order to Feel More Later: A Day of Dopamine Fasting in San Francisco:

Everything was going really well for the men of Tennessee Street. Women wanted to talk to them, investors wanted to invest, their new site got traffic, phones were buzzing, their Magic: The Gathering cards were appreciating. This all was exactly the problem.

They tried to tamp the pleasure. They would not eat for days (intermittent fasting). They would eschew screens (digital detox). It was not enough. Life was still so good and pleasurable.

And so they came to the root of it: dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in how we feel pleasure. The three of them — all in their mid-20s and founders of SleepWell, a sleep analysis start-up — needed to go on a dopamine fast.

“We’re addicted to dopamine,” said James Sinka, who of the three fellows is the most exuberant about their new practice. “And because we’re getting so much of it all the time, we end up just wanting more and more, so activities that used to be pleasurable now aren’t. Frequent stimulation of dopamine gets the brain’s baseline higher.”

There is a growing dopamine-avoidance community in town and the concept has quickly captivated the media.

Dr. Cameron Sepah is a start-up investor, professor at UCSF Medical School and dopamine faster. He uses the fasting as a technique in clinical practice with his clients, especially, he said, tech workers and venture capitalists. ...

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November 9, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Penn Receives $125 Million Naming Gift, Largest Gift Ever To A Law School, Penn Law, With Record-Breaking Donation, Gets New Name:

Penn Law (2020)The University of Pennsylvania Law School has received the single largest donation to a law campus on record and is changing its name in honor of the donor.

The school will now be called the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School after receiving $125 million from the W.P. Carey Foundation. That tops the $115 million gift James E. Rogers made to the University of Arizona’s law school in 1998 and the $100 million donation from the Pritzker family to Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2015. ...

Naming rights have become an increasingly important avenue for fundraising in legal education. Last month, Pepperdine University’s law school was renamed the Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law after it received $50 million from its namesake, who is a Los Angeles-area real estate developer.

The $125 million gift will be spent on these six priorities:

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November 9, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Five Law Schools With Top Bar Pass Rates Share Their Secrets, How'd They Do It? Law Schools With Top Bar Pass Rates Share Their Secrets:

We’ve asked five law schools with the highest July pass rate in their respective jurisdictions to tell us about their secrets to bar exam success, and why their graduates tend to do so well on the licensing exam.

Most jurisdictions have released the results of the July 2019 bar exam, and the news is largely positive. Pass rates went up in most states, though closely watched California likely won’t release results for another week or so.

Here are the top performers in their states: Florida International University College of Law (overall pass rate of 96%); Baylor University School of Law (93% first-time pass rate); the University of Georgia School of Law (94% first-time pass rate); the University of Pennsylvania Law School (88% overall pass rate); and Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law (100% first-time pass rate.) ...

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November 8, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Remembers The Borderline Shooting And Woolsey Fire


One year ago our campus community was forever changed by the events of the Borderline Shooting and Woolsey Fire. In what felt like a mere instant, countless members of our precious Waves family suffered unspeakable loss as we had just begun to grieve a senseless shooting rampage, the loss of one of our students, and destruction from flames more powerful than our community had ever seen. But even amidst unthinkable tragedy, the generous hearts and united spirit of our Pepperdine family prevailed, and today, one year later, we continue to selflessly serve one another as we rebuild, renew, and hope forward—together. This week we remember those who were lost, and we carry in our hearts those whose lives were changed by these tragedies as they demonstrate each day not only their love for each other, but their unyielding strength to carry on.

Posted by Pepperdine University on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

November 8, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)