Paul L. Caron

Monday, May 15, 2023

Legal Ed News Roundup

ABA Increases Law School Online Course Cap From 33% To 50%

Reuters, Law Students Can Take 50% of Classes Online, With ABA Rule Change:

ABA Legal Ed (2022)The arm of the American Bar Association that accredits law schools on Friday voted to increase its limit on distance education courses from one-third of a student’s total credits to half. It also eliminated the rule that students take no more than 10 credit hours of distance education classes during their first year of law school.

Those changes bring the law school accreditation standards in line with distance education limits set by the U.S. Department of Education — which has tasked the ABA with overseeing law schools — and will reduce the number of law schools applying to the ABA for special approval to offer distance education programs that exceed the one-third credit limit.

ABA Journal:

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May 15, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education | Permalink

2024 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2024 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings include the business/corporate law programs at 196 law schools (the faculty survey had a 58% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 Chicago
1 4.5 Columbia*
1 4.5 Harvard*
4 4.4 NYU*
4 4.4 Penn*
4 4.4 Stanford*
4 4.4 UC-Berkeley*
8 4.1 Virginia*
9 4.0 Michigan*
9 4.0 UCLA*
9 4.0 Yale*
12 3.9 Georgetown*
12 3.9 Vanderbilt*
14 3.8 Northwestern*
15 3.7 Cornell*
15 3.7 Duke*
17 3.5 BYU
17 3.5 USC
19 3.4 Boston University
19 3.4 Fordham
19 3.4 Texas
22 3.3 Minnesota
22 3.3 UC-Davis*
22 3.3 Washington University
25 3.2 Boston College
25 3.2 Emory
25 3.2 Florida
25 3.2 Iowa
29 3.1 Georgia
29 3.1 North Carolina
29 3.1 William & Mary
32 3.0 Brooklyn*
32 3.0 George Washington
32 3.0 Notre Dame
32 3.0 Tulane*
36 2.9 George Mason
36 2.9 Illinois
36 2.9 Indiana (Maurer)
36 2.9 San Diego
36 2.9 Tennessee
36 2.9 UC-San Francisco*
36 2.9 University of Arizona
36 2.9 Washington & Lee
44 2.8 Arizona State
44 2.8 Ohio State
44 2.8 Wisconsin*
47 2.7 Alabama
47 2.7 Colorado
47 2.7 Florida State
47 2.7 Houston
47 2.7 SMU
47 2.7 UC-Irvine*
47 2.7 Wake Forest

*Denotes schools that boycotted the U.S. News rankings

2023 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings 

2024 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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May 15, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 14, 2023

NY Times Op-Ed: An Apology for Saying ‘Sorry’

New York Times Op-Ed:  An Apology for Saying ‘Sorry,’ by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3I have a fraught relationship with the words “I’m sorry.” I say it constantly, habitually, even when I don’t mean to. I was raised in the South, where women are often conditioned to apologize compulsively. ...

On any given day, I open Instagram and see memes encouraging people — especially women, who tend to apologize more often than men — to knock off the apologies and offering what to say instead. There are perennial articles about how to quit an “I’m sorry” habit.

Saying “I’m sorry” is not always a heartfelt, sincere note of contrition, of course. It can become little more than a verbal tic. Yet the “I’m sorry” debate also points to something deeper. We are told that apologizing too much shows a lack of confidence and authority and can make us seem weak. In our cultural context, the debate about how much to say “I’m sorry” becomes part of a broader societal script about self-confidence, power and gender. It raises questions about what proper self-regard and healthy, humble diffidence look like. And here is where this debate becomes trickier and more perplexing to me. ...

All the cultural chatter about apologizing can be particularly bewildering for people of faith — especially the women among us. After all, in Christianity, humility is prized as a virtue. In Scripture, it is the meek who “shall inherit the earth,” not the brash, the bold or those who always think they are right.

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May 14, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Abortion And Religious Liberty

Following up on my previous posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas; Google Scholar), Some Less-Tentative Thoughts On Abortion And Religious Liberty, One Year Later:

On June 20, 2022, I published a post titled Some Tentative Thoughts On The Jewish Claim To A "Religious Abortion." I started thinking about that post several weeks earlier. I only published it when I did to get ahead of the imminent Dobbs decision, which eventually was released on June 24 (a few days earlier than I expected). I spent as much as I did on the post because I knew it would be controversial. I was writing on two of the most hotly-contested topics in our polity, abortion and religious liberty, against the backdrop of a long-simmering divide within the Jewish community. I knew that my post would stir up a debate in my own circles–there would be tweets from law professors, essays on Slate, and maybe a few footnotes in post-Dobbs law review articles. But the reaction was far greater. The post went viral, and global. Beyond the usual suspects, my piece was discussed in Jewish publications in the United States and in Israel. And it was referenced in mainstream media sources. ...

People attacked me, in particular, as a Jew being critical of other Jews. In the lingo, chilul hashem, which is often used to describe a Jew defaming his own people. Or, to use the title of a recent book, a Bad Jew. ...

[S]everal law professors wrote full-length treatments of my short, tentative post. In the NYU Law Review, David Schraub wrote Liberal Jews and Religious Liberty. In the Iowa Law Review, Richard Schragger and Micah Schwartzman wrote Religious Freedom and Abortion. There are others. I also co-authored a law review article with Howie Slugh and Tal Fortgang in the Texas Review of Law & Politics, titled Abortion and Religious Liberty. ...

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May 14, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The IRS Just Hiked Taxes On Private Jet Flights. Pastors Are Not Excluded.

Washington Post, The IRS Just Hiked Taxes on Private Jet Flights. Pastors Are Not Excluded.:

In 2017, Texas-based televangelist Kenneth Copeland told his followers he received a very specific message from the Holy Spirit: The Lord had set aside a luxury Gulfstream V jet for his ministry’s use.

Copeland purchased the jet — in cash — from filmmaker Tyler Perry in November of that year and soon released a celebratory video, along with a request for another $2.5 million for upgrades.

Copeland is one of a handful of prosperity gospel pastors who insist that jets are essential to their ministry. ...

These luxury-loving pastors — including Creflo Dollar and Jesse Duplantis — will be doling out extra dough for personal flights on ministry-owned aircraft, according to a tax update released last month. Watchdog organization Trinity Foundation, which monitors religious fraud, reported last week that the Internal Revenue Service ramped up the tax rate for “noncommercial flights on employer-provided aircraft” taken between Jan. 1, 2023, and June 30, 2023. ...

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May 14, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Happy Mother's Day From SNL

Saturday, May 13, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. Donald Tobin (Maryland), A Preliminary Analysis of the New 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings
  2. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), 2024 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)
  3. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, DEI Brings Kafka to My Law School
  4. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Methodology Changes In The New 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings
  5. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), The Law Schools Most Impacted By The Methodology Changes In The 2024 U.S. News Rankings
  6. Eric Segall (Georgia State), Political Polarization, Legal Education, And Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring
  7. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), The Impact Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott On Peer Reputation
  8. Robert Jones (Northern Illinois), The U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2022
  9. Bo Rutledge (Dean, Georgia), Law Schools Shouldn’t Blame ‘U.S. News’ for Their Own Moral Choices
  10. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Pepperdine’s Place In The 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings


  1. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Exclusion Rules For Disability Payments
  2. U.S. News & World Report, 2024 Tax Rankings
  3. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Better Deals With Appeals
  4. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, Congress Gave $80 Billion To A Lawless IRS
  5. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: The Unforeseen Circumstances Rule For §121 Home Sale Exclusions
  6. Twitter, Kristin Hickman Leaves Minnesota For Texas
  7. Wall Street Journal, Why So Many Accountants Are Quitting
  8. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  9. Michelle Layser (San Diego), Review Of Predictive Analytics And The Tax Code, By Jay Soled (Rutgers) & Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) 
  10. Roundup, Tax Policy In The Biden Administration


  1. New York Times Op-Ed, Ted Lasso, Holy Fool

May 13, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

ABA Pauses Move To Eliminate LSAT Requirement For Admission To Law School

ABA Legal Ed (2022)In April 2022, the Strategic Review Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar proposed eliminating the accreditation standard requiring that all applicants take the LSAT or other standardized test before they can be admitted to law school. In May 2022, the Council voted to send the proposal out for notice and comment. In September 2022,  I joined a letter to the ABA from sixty deans opposing the proposal. In November 2022, the Council approved the proposal with only one dissenting vote. In February 2023, the ABA House of Delegates rejected the proposal. Two weeks later, the Council, again with only one dissenter, voted to re-send the proposal to the ABA House of Delegates for a second vote in August 2023. (Under ABA rules, changes to law school accreditation standards are sent to the House of Delegates for concurrence up to two times, but the Council has the final say.) In April 2023, I joined a letter to the ABA from 125 deans seeking a compromise that would permit law schools to admit up to 25% of an incoming class without taking a standardized test (up from the current 10%). Yesterday, the Council announced a "pause" and said it will not send the proposal to the House of Delegates in August 2023 because "it wants to be sensitive and responsive to the concerns raised by law school deans and other stakeholders."

ABA Journal, Plans For Cutting Admissions Test Requirement Paused by ABA Legal Ed Council:

After receiving letters from various law school deans with concerns about cutting the Law School Admission Test requirement, the council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Friday walked back plans to go forward with the proposal in August.

The decision was made Friday—when the council met in Chicago. ...

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May 13, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Over 50+ Years, The NYU Tax VAP Program Has Launched Dozens Of Tax Prof Careers

NYU Law News, The Visiting Assistant Professor of Tax Law Program Has Launched Multiple Generations of Tax Law Leaders:

NYU Law (2022)The Visiting Assistant Professor of Tax Law program, formerly known as the Acting Assistant Professor of Tax Law program, has been a successful launching pad for generations of tax law academics. VAPs typically spend two years at the Law School as full-time, non-tenure-track instructors. During their second year, they seek tenure-track positions in the law school academic job market.

While at NYU Law, VAPs devote considerable time to developing their research agendas and working on their scholarship. In addition to teaching a course in the Graduate Tax Program each semester, VAPs serve as assistant editors of the Tax Law Review. VAPs benefit from the tax faculty’s mentorship as they develop their scholarship and prepare for the academic job market. They also participate in faculty workshops and conferences, including the renowned Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium.

Jon Endean and Rita Julien, the current VAPs, bring the total number of participants in the history of the program to 78. [1961-2023 list] ...

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May 13, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

More Commentary On The 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US News (2023)Chronicle of Higher Education, What the New ‘U.S. News’ Law-School Rankings Reveal About the Rankings Enterprise:

Here are three takeaways from this year’s law list and what they say about the rankings enterprise.

The law schools that opted out clustered at certain places on the list. Of the 15 top-ranked law schools, all but one, the University of Chicago, declined to provide data this year. Several schools at the bottom of the list also didn’t return U.S. News’s survey. In the middle, opt-outs were scarcer. ...  [A]t the bottom of the list, Malik C. Edwards, dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Law, said he hadn’t participated in the last three years, because he didn’t see it as worth his time. ...

The top 14 law schools stayed nearly the same. Historically, U.S. News rankings were designed to change only modestly year to year. Editors feared large shifts “could have undermined the credibility of the project,” Alvin P. Sanoff, an early and influential editor, wrote in 2007. Keeping the most scrutinized part of the law-school list — the top 14 — largely the same reflects that dedication to stability. ...

Did the rankings protest help right inequities in law education? That was the point of the boycott. Did it work?

It did and it didn’t, Edwards said. On the one hand, top law schools’ criticisms of U.S. News helped draw public attention to points that law deans had long made to one another, and drove real change in the methodology. On the other hand, problems persist.

Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), Has Outdone Itself: It Has Made Its Law School Rankings Even More Absurd Than Before!:

There's not much to say about what is essentially a random ordering of law schools within tier groups.  Any student who made a decision on the basis of small (and, in some cases, even large) ordinal differences in this year's travesty really should have a cause of action against  (Some of the swings in overall rank are beyond bizarre!  UC Davis and Arizona dropped from the top 50?  Emory and George Washington dropped out of the top 30?  Is this a joke?) 

Brian Leiter (Chicago; Google Scholar), More on the New Ranking Stew:

The whole formula still of course makes no sense, and is inexplicable in terms of the weightings.  What is clear is that the results are even more detached from traditional criteria of excellence, like faculty quality.  The rankings will also now be much more volatile, for reasons Professor Muller explains.

Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), New USNWR Methodology Will Yield Dramatically More Compression and Volatility in Law School Rankings:

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May 13, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, May 12, 2023

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

2024 U.S. News Tax Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2024 U.S. News Tax Rankings include the tax programs at 196 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 NYU*
2 4.4 Florida
3 4.3 Georgetown*
4 4.1 Northwestern*
5 4.0 Virginia*
6 3.9 UC-Irvine*
7 3.7 Chicago
7 3.7 Columbia*
7 3.7 UCLA*
10 3.6 Duke*
10 3.6 Loyola-L.A.
10 3.6 Michigan*
13 3.5 Boston University
13 3.5 Harvard*
13 3.5 Stanford*
16 3.4 Boston College
16 3.4 Texas
18 3.3 Indiana (Maurer)
18 3.3 Penn*
18 3.3 San Diego
18 3.3 UC-San Francisco*
22 3.2 Minnesota
22 3.2 Yale*
24 3.1 Fordham
24 3.1 George Washington
24 3.1 North Carolina
24 3.1 UC-Berkeley*
24 3.1 USC
29 3.0 Pepperdine Caruso
29 3.0 Temple
31 2.9 BYU
31 2.9 Pittsburgh*
31 2.9 UC-Davis*
31 2.9 Villanova
31 2.9 Wisconsin*
36 2.8 Alabama
36 2.8 Arizona State
36 2.8 Cornell*
36 2.8 Florida State
40 2.7 Brooklyn*
40 2.7 Miami
40 2.7 Washington & Lee
40 2.7 Washington University
44 2.6 Houston
44 2.6 University of Washington*
46 2.5 Cardozo
46 2.5 Denver
46 2.5 Notre Dame
46 2.5 UNLV
50 2.4 American*
50 2.4 Colorado
50 2.4 Georgia
50 2.4 Georgia State
50 2.4 Iowa
50 2.4 Loyola-Chicago*
50 2.4 Ohio State
50 2.4 Richmond
50 2.4 Seton Hall
50 2.4 SMU
50 2.4 South Carolina
50 2.4 Tulane*

*Denotes schools that boycotted the U.S. News rankings

Among the law schools in the tax rankings last year, here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +9: Florida State (#36)
  • +8: Duke (#10), BYU (#31),  Villanova (#31)
  • +6: San Diego (#18)
  • +5: Washington & Lee (#40), Houston (#44)
  • +4: Fordham (#24)
  • +3: UC-Irvine (#6), Loyola-L.A. (#10), George Washington (#24), Alabama (#36), Arizona State (#36)

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -16: Ohio State (#50)
  • -12: Brooklyn (#40)
  • -11: Georgia (#50)
  • -10: University of Washington (#44)
  • -6: Miami (#40), Washington University (#40)
  • -4: Michigan (#10), Harvard (#13), Stanford (#13), North Carolina (#24), USC (#24)

Here are the rankings of law schools with graduate tax programs:

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May 12, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Rankings | Permalink

Next Week’s Tax Workshop

Tax Workshops (Big)Thursday, May 18: Daniel Hemel (NYU; Google Scholar) will present The Realization Doctrine and the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income (with Dhammika Dharmapala (Chicago; Google Scholar)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks:

The realization requirement—a common feature of real-world capital income tax systems—defers the taxation of gains until the sale or other disposition of assets. As implemented, it generally imposes effective capital income tax rates that decline over a taxpayer’s holding period. Scholars of tax law and public finance have long appreciated that the realization requirement generates a deferral benefit and an associated allocative inefficiency (the “lock-in effect”). However, they have largely overlooked the relationship between realization and the optimal taxation of capital over the lifecycle. In this paper, we connect the realization requirement to canonical results in the optimal tax literature—in particular, the Atkinson-Stiglitz argument for the nontaxation of retirement savings and the Diamond-Mirrlees argument for high tax rates on savings withdrawn in midlife.

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May 12, 2023 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

The Impact Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott On Peer Reputation

Following up on my previous post, Will U.S. News Refuse To Count Votes From Deans, Faculty, Lawyers, And Judges From Boycotting Law Schools In Reputation Metric In 2024 Rankings?:  Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), Did "Boycotting" the USNWR Law Rankings Affect Those Schools' Peer Scores?:

US News (2023)USNWR’s methodology provides that it withdrew the survey responses of “boycotting” schools: “Peer assessment ratings were only used when submitted by law schools that also submitted their statistical surveys. This means the schools that declined to provide statistical information to U.S. News and its readers had their academic peer ratings programmatically discarded before any computations were made.” ... [D]id it affect those schools adversely?

But among these ~60 schools, 7 of them saw an increase in their peer score (12%). Another 28, nearly half, saw a decline. The average effect on their peer score was a decline of 0.043, slightly less than than the 0.1 I projected, but still an average decline.

Another 130 or so did not boycott. 29 of them (22%) saw an increase in their peer score, and 36 (27%) saw a decline—a mixed bag, with declining schools slightly outpacing increasing schools. The average effect on their peer was a marginal decrease of less than 0.01)—in other words, a decline, but somewhat less than the “boycotting” schools. (Peer scores have been long declining.)

Here are the changes in the peer reputation scores (now 12.5% of the methodology) of all 196 law schools, with an asterisk marking the 62 schools that boycotted the rankings:

Difference School 2023 Peer Score 2024 Peer Score
+0.2 Northern Kentucky 1.5 1.7
+0.1 Albany 2.0 2.1
+0.1 Arkansas-Little Rock 2.2 2.3
+0.1 Ave Maria 1.2 1.3
+0.1 Baltimore 2.1 2.2
+0.1 Barry* 1.2 1.3
+0.1 Campbell* 1.5 1.6
+0.1 Capital* 1.4 1.5
+0.1 Creighton* 1.9 2.0
+0.1 Drake 2.0 2.1
+0.1 Drexel 2.3 2.4
+0.1 Elon 1.7 1.8
+0.1 Georgia 3.2 3.3
+0.1 Illinois-Chicago 2.1 2.2
+0.1 Liberty 1.2 1.3
+0.1 Louisiana State 2.2 2.3
+0.1 Maine 2.1 2.2
+0.1 Mercer 1.9 2.0
+0.1 Mississippi 2.2 2.3
+0.1 Nova 1.6 1.7
+0.1 Pacific 2.0 2.1
+0.1 Pepperdine Caruso 2.8 2.9
+0.1 Quinnipiac* 1.9 2.0
+0.1 Regent 1.3 1.4
+0.1 Roger Williams* 1.7 1.8
+0.1 Seattle* 2.4 2.5
+0.1 Southern Illinois 1.7 1.8
+0.1 Southern* 1.7 1.8
+0.1 St. Mary's 1.8 1.9
+0.1 Suffolk 2.1 2.2
+0.1 Temple 2.8 2.9
+0.1 Tennessee 2.6 2.7
+0.1 Texas A&M 2.8 2.9
+0.1 UNLV 2.6 2.7
+0.1 Utah 3.0 3.1
+0.1 West Virginia 2.1 2.2
+0.1 Willamette 2.0 2.1
0 Alabama 3.2 3.2
0 Appalachian* 1.3 1.3
0 Arizona State 3.3 3.3
0 Arkansas-Fayetteville 2.4 2.4
0 Baylor 2.5 2.5
0 Belmont 1.5 1.5
0 BYU 2.9 2.9
0 Cal-Western* 1.7 1.7
0 Case Western 2.7 2.7
0 Catholic 2.2 2.2
0 Chapman 1.8 1.8
0 Charleston 1.4 1.4
0 Cincinnati 2.4 2.4
0 Cleveland State 1.9 1.9
0 Connecticut* 2.9 2.9
0 Cornell* 4.2 4.2
0 Dayton 1.8 1.8
0 DePaul 2.3 2.3
0 Duke* 4.2 4.2
0 Duquesne 1.9 1.9
0 Faulkner 1.3 1.3
0 Florida 3.3 3.3
0 Florida A&M* 1.8 1.8
0 Florida Int'l 2.1 2.1
0 Fordham 3.3 3.3
0 George Mason 2.7 2.7
0 Georgia State 2.8 2.8
0 Golden Gate 1.5 1.5
0 Gonzaga* 2.1 2.1
0 Hawaii 2.6 2.6
0 Howard 2.9 2.9
0 Indiana (Maurer) 3.2 3.2
0 John Marshall (GA)* 1.4 1.4
0 Kansas 2.6 2.6
0 Kentucky 2.5 2.5
0 Lewis & Clark 2.4 2.4
0 Lincoln Memorial 1.3 1.3
0 Louisville 2.2 2.2
0 Loyola-Chicago* 2.7 2.7
0 Loyola-New Orleans* 2.2 2.2
0 Memphis 1.9 1.9
0 Miami 2.7 2.7
0 Michigan State 2.5 2.5
0 Michigan* 4.4 4.4
0 Minnesota 3.6 3.6
0 Mississippi College 1.6 1.6
0 Missouri (Columbia) 2.5 2.5
0 Missouri-Kansas City 2.2 2.2
0 Mitchell | Hamline* 1.9 1.9
0 Montana 2.0 2.0
0 Nebraska* 2.4 2.4
0 New England 1.5 1.5
0 New Mexico 2.4 2.4
0 New York Law School 2.0 2.0
0 North Carolina Central* 1.7 1.7
0 North Dakota 1.8 1.8
0 Northeastern* 2.6 2.6
0 Northern Illinois 1.8 1.8
0 Notre Dame 3.4 3.4
0 Ohio Northern 1.5 1.5
0 Oklahoma 2.5 2.5
0 Oklahoma City 1.6 1.6
0 Oregon 2.8 2.8
0 Pace 2.1 2.1
0 Pittsburgh* 2.6 2.6
0 Richmond 2.8 2.8
0 Rutgers* 2.7 2.7
0 Samford 1.7 1.7
0 San Diego 2.9 2.9
0 San Francisco* 1.9 1.9
0 Santa Clara 2.5 2.5
0 Seton Hall 2.5 2.5
0 SMU 2.7 2.7
0 South Dakota 1.8 1.8
0 South Texas* 1.7 1.7
0 Southwestern* 1.9 1.9
0 St. John's* 2.3 2.3
0 St. Thomas (MN) 2.0 2.0
0 Stanford* 4.7 4.7
0 Stetson 2.2 2.2
0 SUNY-Buffalo 2.2 2.2
0 Texas Tech 2.0 2.0
0 Touro* 1.6 1.6
0 University of Arizona 3.2 3.2
0 Villanova 2.7 2.7
0 Wake Forest 3.0 3.0
0 Washburn 2.1 2.1
0 Western Michigan* 1.3 1.3
0 Western State 1.2 1.2
0 Widener (DE) 1.9 1.9
0 Wyoming 1.9 1.9
-0.1 Akron 1.8 1.7
-0.1 American* 3.0 2.9
-0.1 Boston College 3.4 3.3
-0.1 Boston University 3.6 3.5
-0.1 Brooklyn* 2.7 2.6
-0.1 Cardozo 3.0 2.9
-0.1 Chicago 4.6 4.5
-0.1 Colorado 3.2 3.1
-0.1 Columbia* 4.6 4.5
-0.1 CUNY 2.3 2.2
-0.1 Denver 2.8 2.7
-0.1 Detroit Mercy* 1.8 1.7
-0.1 District of Columbia 1.8 1.7
-0.1 Florida State 3.0 2.9
-0.1 George Washington 3.5 3.4
-0.1 Georgetown* 4.2 4.1
-0.1 Harvard* 4.7 4.6
-0.1 Hofstra 2.3 2.2
-0.1 Houston 2.8 2.7
-0.1 Idaho* 2.1 2.0
-0.1 Indiana (McKinney) 2.5 2.4
-0.1 Iowa 3.4 3.3
-0.1 Loyola-L.A. 2.8 2.7
-0.1 Marquette 2.3 2.2
-0.1 Maryland* 3.1 3.0
-0.1 Massachusetts 1.6 1.5
-0.1 North Carolina 3.5 3.4
-0.1 Northwestern* 4.2 4.1
-0.1 NYU* 4.6 4.5
-0.1 Ohio State 3.3 3.2
-0.1 Penn State-Dickinson* 2.5 2.4
-0.1 Penn State-University Park* 2.5 2.4
-0.1 Penn* 4.4 4.3
-0.1 South Carolina 2.6 2.5
-0.1 St. Louis 2.4 2.3
-0.1 Syracuse* 2.4 2.3
-0.1 Texas 4.1 4.0
-0.1 Texas Southern* 1.6 1.5
-0.1 Tulane* 3.1 3.0
-0.1 Tulsa 2.0 1.9
-0.1 UC-Berkeley* 4.5 4.4
-0.1 UC-Davis* 3.5 3.4
-0.1 UC-San Francisco* 3.2 3.1
-0.1 University of Washington* 3.2 3.1
-0.1 USC 3.7 3.6
-0.1 Vanderbilt* 4.0 3.9
-0.1 Vermont 2.0 1.9
-0.1 Virginia* 4.4 4.3
-0.1 Washington & Lee 3.2 3.1
-0.1 Washington University 3.8 3.7
-0.1 Wayne State 2.4 2.3
-0.1 Western New England 1.5 1.4
-0.1 Widener (PA) 1.7 1.6
-0.1 William & Mary 3.4 3.3
-0.1 Wisconsin* 3.3 3.2
-0.2 Chicago-Kent 2.6 2.4
-0.2 Emory 3.6 3.4
-0.2 Illinois 3.2 3.0
-0.2 New Hampshire* 2.2 2.0
-0.2 St. Thomas (FL) 1.6 1.4
-0.2 Toledo 1.9 1.7
-0.2 UC-Irvine* 3.6 3.4
-0.2 UCLA* 4.2 4.0
-0.2 Yale* 4.6 4.4

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May 12, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Law Schools Most Impacted By The Methodology Changes In The 2024 U.S. News Rankings

Following up on this morning's post, 2024 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings):  here are the schools most impacted by the methodology changes in the 2024 U.S. News Rankings (among schools with rankings in both 2023 and 2024).

Largest increases in the 2024 rankings:

Rank School 2023 Rank 2024 Rank Difference
1 Duquesne 129 89 +40
2 Florida Int'l 98 60 +38
3 Oklahoma 88 51 +37
4 Marquette 105 71 +34
4 Texas Tech 105 71 +34
6 St. Thomas (MN) 127 96 +31
7 Belmont 133 105 +28
8 Kansas 67 40 +27
8 Stetson 111 84 +27
10 South Carolina 84 60 +24
10 St. John's 84 60 +24
12 Drake 111 88 +23
12 Mercer 122 99 +23
14 Loyola-New Orleans 133 111 +22
15 Wyoming 129 111 +18
16 Albany 122 105 +17
16 Gonzaga 116 99 +17
16 Memphis 142 125 +17
16 Regent 142 125 +17
16 Seton Hall 73 56 +17
16 Texas A&M 46 29 +17
22 Cleveland State 127 111 +16
23 Wake Forest 37 22 +15
24 SMU 58 45 +13
24 Villanova 56 43 +13
26 Dayton 122 111 +11
26 Pace 142 131 +11
26 South Dakota 133 122 +11
29 Baylor 58 49 +9
29 Chapman 118 109 +9
29 Georgia 29 20 +9
29 Georgia State 78 69 +9
29 St. Louis 98 89 +9
29 Temple 63 54 +9
35 Boston College 37 29 +8
35 Fordham 37 29 +8
35 Ohio State 30 22 +8
35 Samford 139 131 +8
39 Kentucky 67 60 +7
39 Loyola-L.A. 67 60 +7
39 Montana 103 96 +7
39 Pepperdine Caruso 52 45 +7
39 Tulsa 118 111 +7
39 West Virginia 118 111 +7

Largest decreases in the 2024 rankings:

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May 11, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

62 Law Schools Boycotted The U.S. News Law School Rankings, 63 Law Schools Boycotted US News Law School Rankings:

While 42 law schools publicly announced plans to boycott the U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Schools” rankings, a total of 63 law schools ended up not submitting data for the survey.

On the embargoed release, due out Thursday, U.S. News provided an asterisk next to schools with a footnote stating: “School declined to report law data to U.S. News during U.S. News’s most recent data collection. The school’s rankings and rankings data were derived entirely from information the school publicly disclosed as mandated by the American Bar Association, and data collected from reputational surveys.”

Detroit Mercy
Florida A&M
Inter-American (PR)
John Marshall (GA)
Loyola-New Orleans
Mitchell | Hamline
New Hampshire
North Carolina Central
Penn State-Dickinson
Penn State-University Park
Pontifical Catholic (PR)
Puerto Rico
Roger Williams
San Francisco
South Texas
St. John's
Texas Southern
UC-San Francisco
University of Washington
Western Michigan

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May 11, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2024 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

USN Logo (2023)

Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2023), here is the full list of the 196 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.7 Stanford 1
2 4.6 Harvard 5
3 4.5 Chicago 3
3 4.5 Columbia 8
3 4.5 NYU 5
6 4.4 Michigan 10
6 4.4 UC-Berkeley 10
6 4.4 Yale 1
9 4.3 Penn 4
9 4.3 Virginia 8
11 4.2 Cornell 13
11 4.2 Duke 5
13 4.1 Georgetown 15
13 4.1 Northwestern 10
15 4.0 Texas 16
15 4.0 UCLA 14
17 3.9 Vanderbilt 16
18 3.7 Washington University 20
19 3.6 Minnesota 16
19 3.6 USC 16
21 3.5 Boston University 27
22 3.4 Emory 35
22 3.4 George Washington 35
22 3.4 North Carolina 22
22 3.4 Notre Dame 27
22 3.4 UC-Davis 60
22 3.4 UC-Irvine 35
28 3.3 Arizona State 32
28 3.3 Boston College 29
28 3.3 Florida 22
28 3.3 Fordham 29
28 3.3 Georgia 20
28 3.3 Iowa 35
28 3.3 William & Mary 45
35 3.2 Alabama 35
35 3.2 Indiana (Maurer) 45
35 3.2 Ohio State 22
35 3.2 University of Arizona 54
35 3.2 Wisconsin 40
40 3.1 Colorado 56
40 3.1 UC-San Francisco 60
40 3.1 University of Washington 49
40 3.1 Utah 32
40 3.1 Washington & Lee 40
45 3.0 Illinois 43
45 3.0 Maryland 51
45 3.0 Tulane 71
45 3.0 Wake Forest 22
49 2.9 American 89
49 2.9 BYU 22
49 2.9 Cardozo 69
49 2.9 Connecticut 71
49 2.9 Florida State 56
49 2.9 Howard 125
49 2.9 Pepperdine Caruso 45
49 2.9 San Diego 78
49 2.9 Temple 54
49 2.9 Texas A&M 29
59 2.8 Georgia State 69
59 2.8 Oregon 78
59 2.8 Richmond 60
62 2.7 Case Western 80
62 2.7 Denver 80
62 2.7 George Mason 32
62 2.7 Houston 60
62 2.7 Loyola-Chicago 84
62 2.7 Loyola-L.A. 60
62 2.7 Miami 71
62 2.7 Rutgers 109
62 2.7 SMU 45
62 2.7 Tennessee 51
62 2.7 UNLV 89
62 2.7 Villanova 43
74 2.6 Brooklyn 111
74 2.6 Hawaii 135
74 2.6 Kansas 40
74 2.6 Northeastern 71
74 2.6 Pittsburgh 89
79 2.5 Baylor 49
79 2.5 Kentucky 60
79 2.5 Michigan State 111
79 2.5 Missouri (Columbia) 71
79 2.5 Oklahoma 51
79 2.5 Santa Clara 158
79 2.5 Seattle 111
79 2.5 Seton Hall 56
79 2.5 South Carolina 60
88 2.4 Arkansas-Fayetteville 105
88 2.4 Chicago-Kent 99
88 2.4 Cincinnati 84
88 2.4 Drexel 80
88 2.4 Indiana (McKinney) 99
88 2.4 Lewis & Clark 84
88 2.4 Nebraska 89
88 2.4 New Mexico 96
88 2.4 Penn State-Dickinson 89
88 2.4 Penn State-University Park 80
98 2.3 Arkansas-Little Rock 150
98 2.3 DePaul 135
98 2.3 Louisiana State 99
98 2.3 Mississippi 111
98 2.3 St. John's 60
98 2.3 St. Louis 89
98 2.3 Syracuse 122
98 2.3 Wayne State 56
106 2.2 Baltimore 135
106 2.2 Catholic 122
106 2.2 CUNY 154
106 2.2 Hofstra 140
106 2.2 Illinois-Chicago 159
106 2.2 Louisville 99
106 2.2 Loyola-New Orleans 111
106 2.2 Maine 146
106 2.2 Marquette 71
106 2.2 Missouri-Kansas City 135
106 2.2 Stetson 84
106 2.2 Suffolk 133
106 2.2 SUNY-Buffalo 125
106 2.2 West Virginia 111
120 2.1 Albany 105
120 2.1 Drake 88
120 2.1 Florida Int'l 60
120 2.1 Gonzaga 99
120 2.1 Pace 131
120 2.1 Pacific 141
120 2.1 Washburn 111
120 2.1 Willamette 155
128 2.0 Creighton 155
128 2 Idaho 141
128 2 Mercer 99
128 2 Montana 96
128 2 New Hampshire 105
128 2 New York Law School 125
128 2 Quinnipiac 146
128 2 St. Thomas (MN) 96
128 2.0 Texas Tech 71
137 1.9 Cleveland State 111
137 1.9 Duquesne 89
137 1.9 Memphis 125
137 1.9 Mitchell | Hamline 167
137 1.9 San Francisco 165
137 1.9 Southwestern 141
137 1.9 St. Mary's 153
137 1.9 Tulsa 111
137 1.9 Vermont 164
137 1.9 Widener (DE) 175
137 1.9 Wyoming 111
148 1.8 Chapman 109
148 1.8 Dayton 111
148 1.8 Elon 133
148 1.8 Florida A&M Tier 2
148 1.8 North Dakota Tier 2
148 1.8 Northern Illinois 162
148 1.8 Roger Williams 171
148 1.8 South Dakota 122
148 1.8 Southern Illinois 174
157 1.7 Akron 150
157 1.7 Cal-Western 175
157 1.7 Detroit Mercy 141
157 1.7 District of Columbia Tier 2
157 1.7 North Carolina Central 175
157 1.7 Northern Kentucky 149
157 1.7 Nova 171
157 1.7 Samford 131
157 1.7 South Texas 162
157 1.7 Southern Tier 2
157 1.7 Toledo 141
168 1.6 Campbell 125
168 1.6 Mississippi College 165
168 1.6 North Texas 167
168 1.6 Oklahoma City 150
168 1.6 Puerto Rico Tier 2
168 1.6 Touro 167
168 1.6 Widener (PA) 159
175 1.5 Belmont 105
175 1.5 Capital 175
175 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
175 1.5 Massachusetts 167
175 1.5 New England 155
175 1.5 Ohio Northern 146
175 1.5 Texas Southern Tier 2
182 1.4 Charleston Tier 2
182 1.4 John Marshall (GA) 171
182 1.4 Pontifical Catholic (PR) Tier 2
182 1.4 Regent 125
182 1.4 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
182 1.4 Western New England Tier 2
188 1.3 Appalachian Tier 2
188 1.3 Ave Maria Tier 2
188 1.3 Barry Tier 2
188 1.3 Faulkner 159
188 1.3 Inter-American (PR) Tier 2
188 1.3 Liberty 135
188 1.3 Lincoln Memorial 175
188 1.3 Western Michigan Tier 2
196 1.2 Western State Tier 2

Prior Years' U.S. News Peer Reputation And Overall Rankings:

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May 11, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

A Law-School Rankings Formula After Ron DeSantis’s Own Heart

Following up on this morning's post, Methodology Changes In The New 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed:  A Law-School Rankings Formula After Ron DeSantis’s Own Heart, by Brian Soucek (UC-Davis; Google Scholar):

US News (2023)After a botched rollout in April and a monthlong delay, U.S. News & World Report is set to announce its annual law-school rankings on Thursday. This year, 42 law schools, including mine, announced plans to boycott, and in response, U.S. News has changed the basis for its rankings — in what is surely the worst way possible.  [Editor's note: 63 law schools did not submit data to U.S. News.]

At a time when public-college faculty are under unprecedented attack from politicians across the country, U.S. News has decided the moment is right to devalue faculty expertise. ...

Consider one of the world-class public law schools in a state like Florida. Soon, if Gov. Ron DeSantis has his way, that school might no longer have classes where race and the law can be truthfully discussed. It might struggle to satisfy an American Bar Association requirement that law schools educate students on “bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism.” The school might be hemorrhaging faculty members — especially those who are not white, straight, or cisgender, or who might get pregnant — to states that protect academic freedomLGBTQ rights, and reproductive health care. But under the new formula U.S. News has proposed, none of this is likely to affect a law school’s ranking. In fact, the school is likely to see its ranking rise — something DeSantis is sure to lord over critics who say he is destroying public education in Florida for the sake of his presidential ambitions.

Peer scores in rankings aren’t perfect. ... But assessments of law schools by law professors are far more informative.

Full disclosure: It is highly likely that this year’s reduced emphasis on peer scores will hurt my school’s ranking. [Editor's note: UC-Davis's ranking fell from 37 to 60.] UC-Davis School of Law’s reputation among our peers has always been one our great strengths as a law school. [Editor's note: UC-Davis's peer reputation fell from 3.5 to 3.4, likely caused by the decision by U.S. News to discard survey responses completed by faculty and deans from schools that boycotted the rankings.] But this hit in the rankings in no way causes me second-guess our decision to boycott. ...

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May 11, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Methodology Changes In The New 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings

Here is a summary of the changes in the new U.S. News Law School Rankings methodology:

U.S. News Law School Rankings

2023 2024
Categories Weight Weight
Student Outcomes 26% 58%
Employed 10 Months After Graduation 14% 33%
Employed at Graduation 4% -
1-Year First-Time Test-Takers Bar Passage 3% 18%
2-Year Ultimate Bar Passage - 7%
Graduates With Student Loans 2% -
Average Debt of Graduates With Loans 3% -
Quality Assessment  40% 25%
Peer Assessment 25% 12.5%
Lawyers & Judges Assessment 15% 12.5%
Student Selectivity 21% 10%
Median LSAT 11.25% 5%
Median Undergraduate GPA 8.75% 4%
Acceptance Rate 1% 1%
Resources 13% 7%
Student-Faculty Ratio 2% 5%
Student-Librarian Ratio 1% 2%
Average Expenditure Per Student 9% -
Average Financial Aid Per Student 1% -

For more on the new U.S. News Law School Rankings methodology, see:

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May 11, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Tobin: A Preliminary Analysis Of The New U.S. News Law School Rankings

Update (5:00 PM):  The 2023-2024 U.S. News Law School rankings are now available here.

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  A Preliminary Analysis of the New U.S. News Law School Rankings, by Donald Tobin (Maryland; Google Scholar):

Tobin (2020)U.S. News will release its law school rankings tomorrow with new methodology. These changes raise interesting questions about both the validity of the rankings and how these changes will impact law school behavior. This analysis is based on what I know at this time. I will update it once I get a chance to look at what U.S. News actually did in more detail.

On first blush, the changes to rankings, the need to recalculate and delay publication of the results, and the actual results, highlight how silly these rankings are in the first place. A company interested in making money assigns values to publicly available information and then seeks to ordinally rank law schools. In addition, there is no external validation that ensures that the weights and measures used by U.S. News were not picked and/or adjusted by U.S. News to reach specific results. In fact, U.S. News originally appeared to promote the validity of these rankings by providing an early snapshot of its new T-14 rankings and showing that there has been stability in those rankings.

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May 10, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ Op-Ed: DEI Brings Kafka To My Law School

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:  DEI Brings Kafka to My Law School, by Scott Gerber (Ohio Northern):

Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” tells the story of Josef K., a man arrested, prosecuted and killed by an inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. I’m Josef K.

Around 1 p.m. on Friday, April 14, Ohio Northern University campus security officers entered my classroom with my students present and escorted me to the dean’s office. Armed town police followed me down the hall. My students appeared shocked and frightened. I know I was. I was immediately barred from teaching, banished from campus, and told that if I didn’t sign a separation agreement and release of claims by April 21, ONU would commence dismissal proceedings against me. The grounds: “Collegiality.” The specifics: None.

Josef K. never learns what he’s alleged to have done wrong. The offenses I’ve allegedly committed haven’t been revealed to me, either. But I have an educated guess.

Like many universities, ONU is aggressively pursuing “diversity, equity and inclusion” initiatives. I have objected publicly as vice chairman of the University Council, an elected faculty governance body, and in newspaper op-eds and on television, to DEI efforts that don’t include viewpoint diversity and would lead to illegal discrimination in employment and admissions. The same week I was led out of my classroom by police and campus security, I published an op-ed defending Justice Clarence Thomas’s right to have friends—even rich ones. ...

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May 10, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. News Law School Rankings To Be Released Tomorrow, With T14 Changes, US News Quietly Schedules Release of Law School Rankings for May 11:

US News (2023)Nearly six months to the day after law schools began boycotting the U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Schools” rankings, a month after originally promising the release and a couple weeks after many prospective law school students had to pay deposits to the school of their choice, the news agency now says the final rankings will be released Thursday—with some changes to the T14. ...

Law schools received the embargoed copy of the survey Monday afternoon.

When the final survey is released on Thursday, the T14 will look somewhat different from what was released on April 11, with a shuffle between a couple law schools. There also are now two three-way ties and a pair of two-way ties. ...

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May 10, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Political Polarization, Legal Education, And Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring

Eric Segall (Georgia State), Political Polarization, Legal Education, and a Few Modest but Serious Proposals:

Twenty years ago, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the following in Grutter v. Bollinger:

Law schools, represent the training ground for a large number of our Nation’s leaders. Individuals with law degrees occupy roughly half the state governorships, more than half the seats in the United States Senate, and more than a third of the seats in the United States House of Representatives. The pattern is even more striking when it comes to highly selective law schools. A handful of these schools accounts for 25 of the 100 United States Senators, 74 United States Courts of Appeals judges, and nearly 200 of the more than 600 United States District Court judges.

Justice O'Connor told us what we already knew: law schools and especially elite law schools, are the "training ground" for many of our nation's political leaders and judges. Justice O'Connor made this observation in the context of her opinion upholding the use of race in admissions by the University of Michigan Law School. Her point, of course, was that the benefits of attending highly ranked law schools were substantial and should be open to people of diverse races, backgrounds, and experiences.

The problem is that, reflecting society-at-large, America's law schools are becoming increasingly divided along political lines with both sides retreating to their respective corners. This development is troubling because echo chambers produce, well echoes, not meaningful attempts at compromises and solutions palatable to broad constituencies. But if there's no one in the room arguing for different positions, compromise becomes much more difficult and stubbornness runs rampant. ...

Legal education is currently suffering from the extreme polarization haunting our country as a whole. We need to be proactive in fighting the temptation to lie in our own bunkers taking rhetorical pot shots at those who disagree with our core values. Only civil conversation, the sharing of space and food, and a willingness to be humble about our own views can lead us to a better place where hard issues aren't made to to look simple, where token presentation of opposite views is replaced by a genuine exchange of ideas, and most importantly, where our most influential and important judges stop being cheerleaders for either Fed Soc or ACS and role model how even our best and our brightest can learn and benefit from hearing how the other side views the complicated and controversial issues of our day.

Ilya Somin (George Mason), Proposals for Improving Dialogue and Reducing Ideological Polarization in the Legal World:

I rarely agree with prominent liberal legal scholar and blogger Eric Segall. ... But in a recent blog post, he makes some valuable suggestions on improving cross-ideological dialogue and reducing the harmful effects of polarization in the legal world. ...

I agree with pretty much all of [his]! Here are a few additional thoughts and ideas. ...

When it comes to law schools, perhaps the single most important thing they can do to improve cross-ideological dialogue is curb ideological discrimination in faculty hiring. There is extensive evidence of hiring discrimination against conservative and libertarian legal academics. As a result, many top institutions have very few, if any, faculty who aren't on the political left. This is particularly true of public law fields, and others that are ideologically contentious. For obvious reasons, faculty play a major role in setting the terms of intellectual debate in any educational institution. Greater ideological diversity on the faculty would improve the quality of discussion at law schools, and increase the range of ideas that get meaningful consideration.

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May 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Kristin Hickman Leaves Minnesota For Texas

Kristin Hickman (McKnight Presidential Professor in Law, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and Harlan Albert Rogers Professor in Law at University of Minnesota Law School) has accepted a lateral offer from the University of Texas School of Law effective January 2024:

Hickman (2020)Professor Kristin E. Hickman is a leading authority in the fields of tax administration, administrative law, and statutory interpretation. Her articles on these topics have appeared in the Columbia Law ReviewVirginia Law ReviewCornell Law Review, and Duke Law Journal, among other publications. She co-authors the Administrative Law Treatise on federal administrative law with Richard J. Pierce, Jr. Her scholarly work has been cited several times in opinions of the United States Supreme Court and as well as regularly in lower court judicial opinions and court briefs.

In 2018-19, Professor Hickman served as Special Adviser to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in Washington, D.C.  She presently serves as one of forty public members and chair of the judicial review committee for the Administrative Conference of the United States. She has served as a member of the Governing Councils of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and the Minnesota State Bar Association Administrative Law Section. She is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

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May 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

2022 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2023 Competition

The winner of the International Fiscal Association's 2022 International Tax Student Writing Competition is: 

International fiscal associationNeil Kelliher (Virginia), Improving Transfer Pricing Litigation by Aligning Section 482 with Litigants’ Incentives, 52 Tax Mgmt. Int’l J. __ (2023).

Faculty Sponsor: Ruth Mason

The Section 482 regulations create a comprehensive system for regulating transfer pricing. But litigation involving these regulations often leads to unsatisfactory results. This issue can be tied to the idea that the section 482 regulations are seemingly written for application by a disinterested third party, while transfer pricing litigation necessarily pits the IRS against a multinational entity. 

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May 9, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Student Class Action Against USC For Reporting False Data To U.S. News To Goose Its Ranking Is Removed To Federal Court

Following up on my previous posts (links below):, Class Action Alleging USC Fraudulently Inflated US News Ranking Removed to Federal Court:

USC Rossier (2023)The University of Southern California and education consultant 2U Inc. removed a class action lawsuit alleging fraud to federal court Wednesday, the second lawsuit filed against USC after the first was filed in December. ...

In March 2022, USC surprised many when it removed its Rossier School of Education from the world-renowned U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of graduate schools of education. The ranking is widely known as the “single most referenced source of school prestige and academic standing that prospective students consult when selecting a school,” according to the complaint.

USC allegedly capitalized on this platform by inflating its ranking to draw more attention to its graduate program, for theirs and 2U’s financial benefit. An internal investigation by USC counsel Jones Day revealed the extent of the two companies’ “aiding and abetting each other” in this alleged scheme.

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May 9, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, May 8, 2023

Legal Ed News Roundup

Dean Rutledge: Law Schools Shouldn’t Blame U.S. News For Their Own Moral Choices

Chronicle of Higher Education:  Law Schools Shouldn’t Blame ‘U.S. News’ for Their Own Moral Choices, by Peter B. (“Bo”) Rutledge (Dean, Georgia):

US News (2023)A fierce debate over law schools’ continued participation in U.S. News has become a microcosm for broader debates over higher-education reform during a period of tremendous disruption.

In that debate, a recent opinion piece by Deans Heather Gerken and Tamara Lawson argues that U.S. News creates “perverse incentives” and has “pernicious effects” that force schools to make bad “policy choices” (“Law Schools Should Abandon Merit-Based Scholarships,” The Chronicle Review, April 13). Those choices include favoring merit-based over need-based financial aid. They contend that “we have reached an inflection point in higher education” and urge all law schools to embrace need-based aid.

I agree with the authors’ effort to support low-income students. Nonetheless, like a handheld flashlight shining in a vast forest, the argument ignores the terrain. It blames the wrong actor, supplies an incomplete account, and elides the importance of moral courage to make hard choices. ...

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May 8, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

The U.S. News Law School Academic Reputation Scores, 1998-2022

Robert L. Jones (Northern Illinois), After Twenty-Five Years, Academic Reputation Scores for Law Schools Remain Below Their 1998 Levels:

US News (2023)This Article summarizes the results of the U.S. News & World Report rankings published in 2021 and 2022 with respect to the academic reputation scores of law schools. In addition to analyzing the most recent results for the U.S. News rankings, the Article supplements the more extensive longitudinal study published by this author in 2013 [A Longitudinal Analysis of the U.S. News Academic Reputation Scores Between 1998 and 2013, 40 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. (2013)]. The Article also includes updated appendices from the prior study that catalog the U.S. News academic reputation scores for every law school between 1998 and 2022. ...

[O]nly twenty-one law schools have managed to improve their academic reputation scores by .3 or more during the twenty-five year period between 1998 and 2022. That represents a mere 12.4% of the data set. Table 2 (below) lists this relatively small subset of schools in the data set that have succeeded in raising their scores significantly over the studied period.

Table 2

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May 8, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, May 7, 2023

NY Times Op-Ed: Ted Lasso, Holy Fool

New York Times Op-Ed:  Ted Lasso, Holy Fool, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Ted Lasso (2021)Each Wednesday night my husband and I tune in to watch “Ted Lasso,” the Emmy award-winning Apple TV+ comedy series. The show’s protagonist and title character, played by Jason Sudeikis, is ebullient, kind and, though smart, persistently silly. ... We discover throughout the series that it is in this very silliness that his power is found.

There is no shortage of religious archetypes in literature and in popular entertainment. There are famous “Christ figures” like Gandalf in “Lord of the Rings,” Dumbledore in the Harry Potter stories, and Anna in “Frozen.” Seen through this lens, Ted Lasso is another kind of religious archetype: a modern-day holy fool.

The holy fool, or yurodivy (also spelled iurodivyi), is a well-known, though controversial, character in Russian Orthodox spirituality. In his book “Holy Fools in Byzantium and Beyond,” the historian Sergey A. Ivanov writes that in the Orthodox tradition the term designates “a person who feigns insanity, pretends to be silly, or who provokes shock or outrage by his deliberate unruliness.” In other words, the holy fool is a person who flouts social conventions to demonstrate allegiance to God.

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May 7, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: Politics Can’t Fix What Ails Us; But Micah 6:4 Can

Following up on my previous post, Faith, Not Politics, Can Heal Lonely Hearts And A Nation:  New York Times Op-Ed: Politics Can’t Fix What Ails Us, by David French (Author, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation (2020)):

French (2024)One of the most important and interesting articles you should read this week is a Reason magazine story by Elizabeth Nolan Brown on one of the most vital issues in the world today: declining fertility. With precious few exceptions (Israel notable among them), fertility rates are declining well below replacement levels in virtually every developed nation, and no one has any realistic idea what to do about it. ...

[O]ne reason our politics are so angry and performative at the moment is that we know that a series of profound, negative cultural changes are underway, and we’re looking to politics to solve crises that are beyond its reach.

There was another example in the pages of The Times just this week. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wrote a personal and moving piece about America’s epidemic of isolation. “At any moment,” he said, “about one out of every two Americans is experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.” These findings echo the conclusions of a recent “Belonging Barometer,” a report by the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council, and Over Zero, a group that studies and combats identity-based violence at home and abroad. ...

[T]here are many more similarly disheartening social statistics. In my short tenure at The Times so far, I’ve written about rising teen depression and anxiety and the crises of suicide, drug overdoses and the educational achievement gaps afflicting American men. While not every American social indicator is negative (the American economy is outperforming its rivals, for example), there are good reasons millions of Americans feel deep in their bones that something is very wrong with the country they love. ...

Too many of us rightly feel a sense of loss, wrongly turn to politics to fill the hole in our lives, and then grow increasingly frustrated when the political process invariably fails to live up to the expectations we place upon it.

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May 7, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

A Sermon On The Law: The Jurisprudence Of Love

Jeffrey R. Baker (Pepperdine), A Sermon on the Law: The Jurisprudence of Love, 15 Wash. U. Juris. Rev. 109 (2023):

Wash U Juris RevThis essay, in the form of a sermon to lawyers and lawmakers, articulates a liberating, progressive, theological jurisprudence of love. This jurisprudence seeks the empowerment of all people and advances a strong policy preference for the poor and disenfranchised. Rooted in scripture, this critical rule measures law and policy in the United States against fundamental human dignity. This is an ancient, radical message for contemporary law and policy. This theory of love is a critique of reactionary, right-wing fundamentalism. It condemns emerging Christian nationalism, affirms inclusive democracy, provides a systemic assessment for policy and politics, and marks a path toward beloved community. Drawing on doctrines that have underpinned movements for abolition, universal suffrage, peace, and civil rights, the homiletic form quickens a positive, normative jurisprudence with accessible rhetoric that avoids partisan, academic shibboleths.

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May 7, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, May 6, 2023

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Top Ten 2Legal Education:

  1. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), An Early Preview Of The 2025 U.S. News Law School Rankings: Employment
  2. Josh Blackman (South Texas; ABA Journal Op-Ed), Law Schools Face An Inflection Point With Diversity, Equity And Inclusion
  3. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), U.S. News Releases Preview Of 2024 Law School Rankings: Top 14 And New Methodology
  4. Derek Muller (Iowa), Law Schools With The Best And Worst Student Debt-To-Income Ratios
  5. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), What Is Causing The 3+ Week Delay In The U.S. News Law School Rankings?
  6. Mike Spivey, Projected 2024 U.S. News Rankings For All 191 Law Schools
  7. Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), Preview Of The 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings: Admissions
  8. New York Times, How Scalia Law School Became A Key Friend Of The Court
  9. Reuters, The Top Law Schools For Placing The Class Of 2022 In BigLaw Jobs
  10., University Of Arizona Law School Shifts Classes And Final Exams Online Due To Alleged Threat


  1. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Better Deals With Appeals
  2. NYU, Tax Law Review Publishes New Issue
  3. Bryan Camp (Texas Tech), Lesson From The Tax Court: Attend Carefully To Your Entity Baskets
  4. Wall Street Journal, The Problem With The IRS Pledge Not To Audit More Earners Under $400,000
  5. Bloomberg Businessweek, Inside the IRS’s Shrinking Band of Wealth Hunters
  6. BYU News, ChatGPT Bombs Accounting And Tax Exams: 47% v. 77% For Students
  7. Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Three New Tax Papers On SSRN
  8. SSRN, The Top Five New Tax Papers
  9. Tracey Roberts (Cumberland), Review Of Capital Taxation And Market Power, By Kimberly Clausing (UCLA)
  10. Roundup, Tax Policy In The Biden Administration


  1. Press Release, Pepperdine Caruso Law's New Religious Clinic Engages Its First Direct Representation Of Clients: Two New Jersey Churches Denied County Historic Preservation Funds

May 6, 2023 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Weekly Top 10 TaxProf Blog Posts | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: In Defense Of Merit And Rigor In Academic Journals

New York Times Op-Ed:  Impartial Was Rejected by Major Journals. You Can’t Make This Up., by Pamela Paul:

[The belief] that science is somehow subjective and should be practiced and judged accordingly has recently taken hold in academic, governmental and medical settings. A paper published last week, “In Defense of Merit in Science,” documents the disquieting ways in which research is increasingly informed by a politicized agenda, one that often characterizes science as fundamentally racist and in need of “decolonizing.” The authors argue that science should instead be independent, evidence-based and focused on advancing knowledge.

This sounds entirely reasonable.

Yet the paper was rejected by several prominent mainstream journals, including The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Another publication that passed on the paper, the authors report, described some of its conclusions as “downright hurtful.” The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences took issue with the word “merit” in the title, writing that “the problem is that this concept of merit, as the authors surely know, has been widely and legitimately attacked as hollow as currently implemented.”

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May 6, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Will The U.S. News Law School Rankings Ever Get Its Mojo Back?, Ahead of the Curve: Will the US News Rankings Ever Be Viewed the Same Again?:

US News (2023)Since Nov. 16, I have written 44 pieces (stories and columns combined) about U.S. News & World Report—and the law school rankings aren’t even out yet!

This has made me a bit of an expert: I’ll participating in a session on the U.S. News law school rankings—on June 15 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. ET—during the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Institutional Advancement Conference, “Making a Difference in a Changing World” which will be held virtually on June 14 and 15 exclusively for law school faculty and staff. [I will also be on the panel.] ...

With each delay, the news agency has said the cause for the delay is “due to an unprecedented number of inquiries from schools during the initial embargo period and verification of publicly available data.”

“The cryptic message from U.S. News also shifts the blame to the number of school inquiries but doesn’t say why the schools are inquiring at such a heavy rate,” Dave Killon, CEO of PowerScore Test Preparation, told on April 24.

“Perhaps U.S. News has made errors in the data? At this point we don’t know but the lack of transparency here further undermines the already tenuous credibility of these rankings,” he added. ...

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May 6, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, May 5, 2023

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

NY Times Op-Ed: A.I. Could Be A Boon To (Legal) Education

New York Times Op-Ed:  A.I. Could Actually Be a Boon to Education, by Peter Coy:

Sal Khan is an uber-nerd, and that’s why people love him. In early 2020, to demonstrate that Khan Academy, his platform for free online education, was a worthy cause, he didn’t produce a brochure with smiling children and glowing testimonials. He made one of his teaching videos, with the usual black screen, colored pens and handwritten equations. The phrase “standard deviation” came up a lot. He multiplied the number of highly active users of his program by their average academic improvement, then linked that to the resulting increase in their projected lifetime earnings, compared it to operating costs and, presto, showed a benefit-cost ratio of 480 to 1, or around 240 to 1 if calculating only the benefits to students in high-need schools.

Those are crazy high benefit-cost ratios, considering that a lot of nonprofits would be happy with a ratio of 10 to 1. I’m not vouching for the calculation, though it seems reasonable at a glance. I’m citing it because Khan has a new plan to make the ratio, whatever it is, even higher. It’s all about harnessing artificial intelligence. I watched a TED Talk he gave on April 18 about his A.I. plans, and I interviewed him last week to get more information.

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May 5, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education | Permalink

Dividing Law School Faculties Into Academic Departments: A Potential Solution To The Gendered Doctrinal/Skills Hierarchy In Legal Education

Larry Cunningham (Dean, Charleston; Google Scholar), Dividing Law School Faculties into Academic Departments: A Potential Solution to the Gendered Doctrinal/Skills Hierarchy in Legal Education, 67 Vill. L. Rev. 679 (2022):

Most law school faculties in the United States are organized in internal hierarchies. At a given school, those professors who teach doctrinal subjects have the most power and benefits, while those who teach skills courses, such as legal writing and clinics, have the least. At many schools, this hierarchy has a gendered dynamic. Tenured doctrinal faculty are more likely to be male, while legal writing and clinical professors are more heavily female. This illegitimate status hierarchy is detrimental to students. The hierarchy is also well-documented through decades of scholarly articles on the subject.

Cunningham 1

This Article proposes a structural solution to the problem: the creation and use of academic departments in law schools. Modern universities organize themselves in this way in recognition that teaching and scholarship are often specialized. The teaching and research in the Physics Department are different from that in the Philosophy Department. Departmentalization allows for the development of specialized teaching and scholarship standards while treating those with teaching roles as equals, regardless of subject matter.

Cunningham 2

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May 5, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Law School Rankings: Government|Public Interest Jobs

Reuters, These Law Schools Are Tops For Government and Public Interest Jobs:

When it comes to sending graduates into government and public interest jobs, no law school comes close to the City University of New York School of Law. New employment figures from the American Bar Association show that CUNY Law, as the Queens, New York, school is known, sent more than 61% of its 2022 juris doctors into such jobs within 10 months of graduation—by far the most of any law school.

Reuters Public Interest

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May 4, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Muller: Law Schools With The Best And Worst Student Debt-To-Income Ratios

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Derek Muller (Iowa; Google Scholar), Which Law Schools Have the Best and Worst Debt-to-Income Ratios Among Recent Law School Graduates? 2023 Update:

The Department of Education offers data with incredible insights into debt and earnings of university graduates. Recent updates are available, and we can look at the data again. ...

A good rule of thumb might be that “manageable” debt loads are those where debt is about equal to expected income at graduation—i.e., a ratio of 1.00 or lower. Only 20 schools meet that definition among median debt and earnings, and a few others are close.


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May 4, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: Can The Meritocracy Survive Without The SAT (And LSAT)?

New York Times Op-Ed:  Can the Meritocracy Survive Without the SAT?, by Ross Douthat:

The rapid abandonment of the SAT and ACT as requirements for college admissions, to the point where more than 80 percent of four-year colleges didn’t require a standardized test for admission in the coming fall, is a milestone in the history of the modern meritocracy. What remains to be seen is whether it’s a marker on the road to the meritocracy’s demise.

From the beginning meritocratic culture and standardized testing have been inextricably intertwined. The transformation of America’s elite colleges in the middle of the 20th century, from upper-class finishing schools into modern “multiversities” supposedly open to all comers, was driven and justified by the SAT, which was supposed to provide an equal-opportunity means of ascent and legitimate the new elite with numerical evidence of its brainpower.

For a long time meritocracy’s skeptics, left and right, have noted that the new system created an upper class that seems as privileged and insular as the old one. And according to some of the SAT’s critics, it’s precisely this criticism that’s motivating the current shift away from standardized tests — the idea that they’re inherently biased toward kids from well-off families and that a more holistic definition of merit will open more opportunities for the meritorious poor and middle class.

There are reasons to be doubtful of this account.

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May 4, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Young Lawyers Want Ted Lasso As Their Leader, Not Bobby Knight, Young Lawyers Want Ted Lasso as Their Leader, Not Bobby Knight. Will They Get Them?:

Ted Lasso (2021)Law firm leaders who don’t adapt their communication styles—particularly moving away from top-down, old-school “tough guy” talk—to a changing workforce risk alienating workers and enduring unwanted backlash.

What people want in their leaders and the way they want leaders to communicate has been changing and it’s been accelerated by the pandemic as well as generational differences, legal consultants said.

If firms want to avoid negative publicity, they need to understand the changing workplace dynamics and motivations of newer attorneys.

Paul Hastings is the loudest recent example of law firm communication backfiring. An internal presentation created by a senior associate and delivered to more junior transactional associates said a variety of things that would seem to be more at home in 1983 than in 2023. ...Paul Hastings

[E]ven with studies and research showing the Ted Lasso approach—the American soccer coach from the popular Apple TV series who exhibits empathy, vulnerability and optimism—to communication is more effective (in most industries), it still isn’t pervasive. ...

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May 3, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

What Is Causing The 3+ Week Delay In The U.S. News Law School Rankings?

US News (2023)Following up on my previous posts:

Mike Spivey has an interesting theory of the reason for the delay in the law school rankings:

Another *possible* USNWR law/med rankings delay theory: peer assessment voting was somehow messed up when excluding non participating schools. Might explain why med & law were the two delayed, since both have assessment scores that *should* be excluded for the non participants.

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May 3, 2023 in ABA Tax Section, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Creating A Pro-Tax Story For Racial Equity

Nicholas A. Mirkay (Hawaii; Google Scholar) & Palma Joy Strand (Creighton), Creating a Pro-Tax Story for Racial Equity, 108 Tax Notes St. 343 (Apr. 24, 2023):

Tax-notes-stateIn this installment of "The Search for Tax Justice" in Tax Notes State, Mirkay and Strand highlight the deep history of contemporary racialized framing of the “taxpayer” identity as white; examine the racist roots of the neoliberal attack on taxation; and introduce a human-dignity-based response to the tax system’s racialized status quo. ...

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May 3, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Law School Rankings: Federal Judicial Clerkships

Reuters, These Law Schools Sent the Most Grads to Federal Clerkships:

A relatively small number of law schools dominate the federal clerk hiring market. The 10 law schools with the highest percentage of federal clerks produced one-third of all clerks nationwide this year, according to the ABA figures.


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May 3, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Yale Law School Accepted A $105,000 Donation For Justice Thomas's Portrait. Five Years Later, It Is Nowhere To Be Seen.

Washington Free Beacon, Yale Law School Accepted a Donation for Clarence Thomas's Portrait. Five Years Later, the Painting Is Nowhere To Be Seen.:

Yale Law Logo (2020)In the spring of 2018, Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken happily acknowledged the receipt of a donation from the Texas billionaire Harlan Crow to fund the commission of a portrait of Crow's friend, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. ...

"We are so pleased to welcome the justice to our outstanding gallery of portraits," Gerken wrote. "They will always have a place of prominence at Yale Law School." Five years later, students and faculty members say they've never seen it, and certainly not displayed in a place of prominence.

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May 2, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Law Schools Face An Inflection Point With Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

Following up my previous post, The ABA Needs Ideological Diversity to Ensure Its Future:  ABA Journal Op-Ed:  Law Schools Face an Inflection Point With Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, by Josh Blackman (South Texas; Google Scholar):

In recent years, there has been a rise in law students heckling speakers. In 2018, I was shouted down at the CUNY Law School in New York. In 2022, Ilya Shapiro was shouted down at the law school formerly known as Hastings. And more recently, Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan of the Fifth Circuit was shouted down at Stanford Law School.

We were protested for speaking on different topics, but there was a common thread: Students at each institution insisted that we were not welcome on campus; that our mere presence made them feel unsafe; and that our messages were not worth the pain and suffering we would cause. Thus, the students refused to let us speak.

Who is to blame for these protests? Of course, the students who heckled speakers, in clear violation of university policy, were at fault. But the blame goes much deeper. These students have been taught from the earliest age that harmful speech has no place in educational institutions. ...

Universities and faculties in particular should take decisive action to prevent [DEI administrators] from subverting the core principles of academic inquiry. At this inflection point, I propose a five-course action plan.

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May 2, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink