Paul L. Caron

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Making Big Law Partner Is Like 'Winning A Pie-Eating Contest In Which The Prize Is More Pie'

Wall Street Journal, Being a Law Firm Partner Was Once a Job for Life. That Culture Is All but Dead.:

WSJ1Being named a partner once meant joining a band of lawyers who jointly tended to longtime clients and took home comfortable, and roughly equal, paychecks. Job security was virtually guaranteed and partners rarely jumped ship.

That model, and the culture that grew up around it, is all but dead. Law firms are now often partnerships in name only. Full-time chief executives, some without law degrees, have replaced the senior partner running human resources and accounting. Law firm names have trended toward the shorter and snappier, more befitting a tote bag than a law library.

Many firms have expanded rapidly to mirror the growth of their corporate clients, with hundreds of partners spread around the world. The largest, Dentons, recently hit 10,000 lawyers in 78 countries, around a third of them partners. ...

In the new paradigm, lawyers are expendable, and partners may jump to a competitor for the right amount of money, taking as many clients as possible with them on the way out.

WSJ2Junior lawyers always worked long hours for years before being promoted, but that meant a kind of lifetime tenure. Today, making partner can take more than a decade and still requires scraping for new business. Becoming a partner, the industry saying goes, is like winning a pie-eating contest only to find the prize is more pie.

“If you get partners in their private moments to talk about ambitions for their children, I would be very surprised if many would articulate partnership in a large law firm,” said Elliott Portnoy, Dentons’s global chief executive. ...

No firm embodies the changes more than Kirkland, which was founded in Chicago in 1909. ... Over the past decade, Kirkland has become known for making high-price offers to rising stars at competitors, for $10 million a year or more in some cases. It has embraced the two-tiered partner system, made up of a junior class paid a set salary and an inner circle of equity partners, who split the firm’s profits.

Continue reading

August 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Federal Court Approves Sale Of Western State Law School To Westcliff University

Westcliff University Press Release, Approval—Acquisition of Western State College of Law:

Western State Logo (2019)A federal court in Ohio has approved acquisition of Western State College of Law by Westcliff University. Dr. Anthony Lee, President and CEO of Westcliff, said in response to the court’s approval, “We are delighted to welcome Western State into our family. We knew it would take a lot of work by many dedicated people, and today is the culmination of those efforts and a reason for celebration.”

The court order ends months of uncertainty and distress for the students, faculty, and staff of the 50-year-old Irvine-based law school. Western State was a campus of Argosy University, which was owned by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC. Western State became the unfortunate victim of the financial problems of its parent, which entered receivership in January.

“The law school had been successful with very experienced management, faculty and staff,” said Lee, “We would not have become involved except for that. Westcliff is fully committed to helping Western State recover from its entanglement in the receivership and begin enrolling new students as soon as possible.”

Continue reading

August 11, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

LatCrit/SALT Annual Faculty Development Workshop

LatCrit GraphicWe are writing to invite you the LatCrit, Inc./SALT Annual Faculty Development Workshop (FDW), which will take place on October 17, 2019. The FDW will be held the day before the 2019 LatCrit Biennial Conference The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting the Second Redemption in América Posfascista (Postfascist America) in Atlanta, Georgia.

The FDW is designed for those who are planning to enter or who have recently joined the legal academy. The day-long workshop includes sessions on topics facing prospective, junior, and pre-tenured faculty, while providing generous opportunities to network and form mentoring relationships with established faculty. The FDW is an invaluable learning and professional development opportunity!

Registration for the FDW is free for attendees of the LatCrit conference. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Additionally, please feel free to e-mail Professor Ron Hochbaum at with any questions.

Continue reading

August 10, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Has College Gotten Too Easy?

The Atlantic, Has College Gotten Too Easy?:

AtlanticWhen Jeff Denning, an economist at Brigham Young University, started looking closely at the data on college-completion rates, he was a bit perplexed by what, exactly, was driving this uptick. He and some of his BYU colleagues noticed that a range of indicators from those two decades pointed in the direction of lower, not higher, graduation rates: More historically underrepresented groups of students (who tend to have lower graduation rates) were enrolling, students appeared to be studying less and spending more time working outside of school, and student-to-faculty ratios weren’t decreasing. “We started thinking, What could possibly explain this increase?” Denning told me. “Because we were stuck with not being able to explain anything.”

Stuck, that is, until they started looking at what was happening with students’ GPAs. Despite the aforementioned trends among the college-going population, students were, on average, earning higher grades in their first year of college. “[GPAs are] going up, and as best we can tell, there’s not a good reason that they’re going up, in terms of student behavior or preparation or anything like that,” Denning said.

If grades are improving but there’s no reason to think that students have become better students, an interesting possibility is raised: The unassuming, academic way Denning puts it in a recent paper (co-authored with his BYU colleague Eric Eide and Merrill Warnick, an incoming Stanford doctoral student) is that “standards for degree receipt” may have changed. A less measured way of saying what that implies: College may have gotten easier.

Jeffrey T. Denning, Eric R. Eide & Merrill Warnick (BYU), Why Have College Completion Rates Increased?:

College completion rates declined from the 1970s to the 1990s. We document that this trend has reversed—since the 1990s, college completion rates have increased.

Figure 2

Continue reading

August 10, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Conservative 3L Says Gonzaga Law School's Liberal Bias Infringes His First Amendment Rights

Following up on my previous posts:

ABA Journal:  Conservative Student Says Law School Biases Infringe on His Right to Free Speech, by Austin Phelps (3L, Gonzaga):

As a third-year law student, I have the concerns that any other 3L has: getting my reading assignments done before class starts, completing internship work, passing the bar exam and finding gainful employment. In addition, when I don my “Make America Great Again” hat, I add the concerns of ostracization among my peers and castigation from professors—the very people I have come to professionally admire.

Having had Jeffrey Omari as a professor, I have known his political leanings for almost one year. As a student in his class, I was present wearing conservative apparel, including a MAGA hat, Trump-Pence 2020 T-shirt and several related stickers on my laptop. After reading his article, I understand why I was not called on with the frequency that left-leaning students enjoyed. The article further creates a feeling of unwelcomeness from Omari toward students of different mindsets. ...

Continue reading

August 9, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (15)

New Technology, The Death Of The BigLaw Monopoly, And The Evolution Of The Computer Professional

Michael Guihot (Queensland), New Technology, the Death of the BigLaw Monopoly, and the Evolution of the Computer Professional:

Much has been written recently about new technology disrupting the traditional law firm model of providing legal services. Susskind and Susskind predicted the failure of professions, including the legal profession, due in large part to the external pressure of disruptive technology. However, concentrating blame on the technology is misguided; it blames the tool used to disrupt rather than the root causes of the disruption. In short, computers do not kill lawyers.

Continue reading

August 9, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mindful Engagement And Relational Lawyering

Susan L. Brooks (Drexel), Mindful Engagement and Relational Lawyering, 48 Sw. L. Rev. ___ (2019):

Mindful engagement is a relational approach to mindfulness, and a mindful approach to being relational, in law and in life. It is about cultivating habits of mind and practices that can inform a wholehearted approach to lawyering, which means bringing our emotional and bodily awareness as well as our analytical minds fully into our work. Mindful engagement contemplates the interconnection and integration of engagement with oneself, with others interactively, and with communities and larger social institutions and systems.

Continue reading

August 8, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law School As A Consumer Product

Debra Moss Vollweiler (Nova), Law School as a Consumer Product: Beat 'em or Join 'em?:

With rising costs, pressure on performance metrics and competitive high-profile rankings, law schools are more than ever before being judged on a consumer satisfaction basis by both students and the public. While this perception has been growing over the past two decades, it has reached a crisis point in legal education. When students have their choice of educational institutions, they may act like consumers, and choose to spend their money based on metrics that satisfy them as buyers. This consumer mindset not only impacts admissions, but also can play out in the retention of students. The loss of students transferring out can take a serious toll on a law school, including potential detriments in bar passage, productive classrooms, the loss of future high performing alumni, and the cost of replacing the tuition generation. Schools are thus pressured to address the consumer issue.

Continue reading

August 8, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Fellowships For Aspiring Law Professors (2019-20 Edition)

For practitioners and others contemplating joining the law professor ranks, many law schools offer wonderful opportunities to transition into the legal academy with one- or two-year fellowships which allow you to enter the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference (the "meat market") and the new SEALS Faculty Recruitment Conference with published scholarship (and in many cases teaching experience) under your belt. Here is an updated list of the law schools with fellowship and VAP programs (thanks to AALS President Judith Areen for allowing me to include in this listing positions in the AALS' new directory):

General Programs:

Law School Program Name
Arizona State Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Boston University Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Chicago Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellowships
Columbia Associates in Law Program
Columbia Academic Fellows Program
Connecticut Visiting Scholars Program
Cornell Visiting Assistant Professorships
Duke Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Georgetown Graduate Teaching Fellowships
Georgetown Georgetown Law Research Fellowship
Georgetown Visiting Researcher Program
Harvard Climenko Fellowship
Harvard Reginald F. Lewis Fellowship for Law Teaching
Illinois Illinois Academic Fellowship Program
Loyola-New Orleans Westerfield Fellows Program
Michigan Michigan Faculty Fellows Program (VAP)
Michigan Michigan Society of Fellows Program
NYU Acting Assistant Professors
NYU Furman Academic Fellowship Program
Northwestern Visiting Scholars Program
Pennsylvania The George Sharswood Fellowship
Stetson Bruce R. Jacob Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Wake Forest Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Washington Visiting Scholars Program
Wisconsin The Hastie Fellowship Program
Yale Fellowship Home Page (for Yale grads)

Subject Specific Programs:

Continue reading

August 8, 2019 in Fellowships & VAPs, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Do You Have To Be A Jerk To Be Great?

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Do You Have to Be a Jerk to Be Great?: Navigating the Tension Between Work and Relationships, by David Brooks:

The JerkDo you have to be so obsessively focused to be great? The traditional masculine answer is yes. But probably the right answer is no.

In the first place, being monomaniacal may not even be good for your work. Another book on my summer reading list was “Range,” by David Epstein. It’s a powerful argument that generalists perform better than specialists. ...

He shows the same pattern in domain after domain: People who specialize in one thing succeed early, but then they slide back to mediocrity as their minds rigidify. ...

Furthermore, living a great life is more important than producing great work. A life devoted to one thing is a stunted life, while a pluralistic life is an abundant one. This is a truth feminism has brought into the culture. Women have rarely been able to live as monads. They were generally compelled to switch, hour by hour, between different domains and roles: home, work, market, the neighborhood.

Continue reading

August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Too Noxious For Tenure?

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Too Noxious for Tenure?, by Musa al-Gharbi  (Columbia):

Academic freedom was invented to protect scholars with reprehensible views. ...

A few weeks ago, at a National Conservativism conference in Washington D.C., one of the speakers, the University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, argued that the United States would be "better off if our country is dominated numerically, demographically, politically, at least in fact if not formally, by people from the First World, from the West, than by people from countries that had failed to advance." ... Her comments echoed previous remarks that have, in fact, led many to brand Wax herself as a racist. ...

Each of these statements was met with challenges to the accuracy of her claims, public condemnations from her dean and colleagues, and widespread calls for her dismissal.

Many have described Wax’s case as a difficult test of academic freedom and its limitations. It’s not. Tenure and academic freedom, as we currently understand them, were literally created in response to another prominent scholar’s getting canned for making inflammatory statements on race and immigration. ...

Continue reading

August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

California’s New Frontier: Accreditation Of Online Law Schools

Martin Pritikin (Dean, Concord Law School), California’s New Frontier: Accreditation of Distance Learning Law Schools:

California is one of the few states to accredit law schools independently of the American Bar Association (ABA). Recently, the State Bar of California took the next big step by opening up a path to accreditation for fully online law schools. This move has the potential to dramatically impact the landscape of legal education.

The ABA, the national accreditor for law schools, has been cautious about allowing law school classes to be delivered by distance learning technology. For a number of years, the ABA limited law schools to offering 15 credits online, about one sixth of the total. In 2018, the ABA relaxed the limit to one third, but schools must still be primarily campus-based. A handful of ABA law schools have obtained variances to offer hybrid online programs, but all of them still contain a ground-based component. There has never been a fully online ABA-accredited J.D. program. ...

Continue reading

August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

More On Malcolm Gladwell And The LSAT

Following up on my previous posts:

Michael Dorf (Cornell), Malcolm Gladwell Mangles Casuistry:

The fourth season of Malcolm Gladwell's podcast Revisionist History includes a great deal of material of relevance to lawyers. Episodes 1 and 2 critique the LSAT and time-pressured law school exams on the ground that they reward quick thinkers at the expense of slower-but-deeper thinkers. There's much in those episodes with which I agree. For just about all of my 27 years in law teaching I have given either 24-hour or 8-hour take-home exams rather than 3-hour in-class exams for exactly the reason that these episodes underscore: The real-life practice of law often puts time pressure on attorneys, but (except perhaps during a trial when an attorney must make split-second decisions whether to object to proffered evidence) rarely does actual legal practice involve the kind of time pressure that the LSAT and in-class exams place on test-takers.

That said, these episodes overclaim. For example, Gladwell contrasts chess grandmasters who are the best speed players with those who are the best players at a normal pace. Fair enough, but Gladwell fails to recognize that even those he calls tortoises are better at speed chess than nearly everyone else in the world, while even those he calls hares are better at normal-pace chess than nearly everyone else in the world. And likewise in law. Time pressure is a source of variation in performance, but it's not the only source and rarely the most important. Time pressure will affect the performance of various excellent lawyers differently. Some excellent lawyers are truly outstanding under time pressure; others are excellent; some are merely very good. By contrast, incompetent lawyers will be incompetent at any speed.

In the balance of this post, I want to focus on another set of flaws in Season 4 of Revisionist History. Episode 5 begins a three-part mini-series on casuistry--a method of moral reasoning closely associated with the Jesuits. The word casuistry is sometimes used as a synonym for sophistry or fallacious reasoning, but Gladwell uses it in its original and literal sense, as case-by-case reasoning rather than deductive reasoning from general principles. (Casuistry derives from the Latin casus, meaning case). I share some of Gladwell's appreciation for this form of reasoning, but I think his key illustrations misfire badly.

Howard Wasserman (Florida International), More on Malcolm Gladwell:

Continue reading

August 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Why Are Seemingly Satisfied Female Lawyers Running For The Exits?

Joni Hersch (Vanderbilt) & Erin E. Meyers (Vanderbilt), Why Are Seemingly Satisfied Female Lawyers Running for the Exits? Resolving the Paradox Using National Data, 102 Marq. L. Rev. 915 (2019):

Despite the fact that women are leaving the practice of law at alarmingly high rates, most previous research finds no evidence of gender differences in job satisfaction among lawyers. This Article uses nationally representative data from the 2015 National Survey of College Graduates to examine gender differences in lawyers' job satisfaction, and finds that any apparent similarity of job satisfaction between genders likely arises from dissatisfied female JDs sorting out of the legal profession at higher rates than their male counterparts, leaving behind the most satisfied women.

Lawyer Satisfaction

Continue reading

August 6, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (15)

Anderson: Citation Engagement v. One-Off Citations

Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Citation Engagement Counts - The Case of Corporate Law Scholars:

Citation counts (and other types of citation-based metrics) are increasing in importance in the legal academy. Some people like the objectivity of these measures and others lament their failure to capture important non-quantifiable aspects of scholarly influence.

One of the most influential citation count rankings in the legal academy is the Sisk-Leiter approach that Greg Sisk updates every three years. Last fall when the new Sisk et al. citation count study came out I proposed a small change to the Sisk-Leiter method that would attempt to measure engagement, defined as citing a particular article more than once. This was designed to address the "throwaway" citation problem that critics of citation counts have raised — that some papers may receive a large number of perfunctory "one off" citations that are less meaningful as a measure of scholarly influence.

Continue reading

August 6, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

More On A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings

My talk last week at SEALS on A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings focused on the tension faced by deans and faculty as they try to increase the diversity of their student bodies in the light of the great weight U.S. News places on median LSATs and UGPAs in its law school rankings methodology — 22.5% of the total ranking. Several folks asked for copies of this chart of the racial and ethnic composition of the 2017-2018 law school applicant pool from LSAC data:

2017-18 Applicants  LSAT  Race

The chart shows that Caucasian and Asian applicants are over-represented (compared to their share of the applicant pool) in the top 160-180 LSAT band (Caucasians comprise 57% of total applicants, and 68% of the top LSAT band; Asians: 10%, 15%), and African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are under-represented in the top LSAT band (African-Americans: 13%, 3%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 7%). In terms of raw numbers, only 590 African-Americans in the applicant pool scored at least 160 on the LSAT. African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are over-represented in the bottom 120-149 LSAT band (African-American: 13%, 27%; Hispanic/Latinos: 12%, 17%).

Continue reading

August 6, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Barry Currier To Step Down; Search Begins For New Managing Director Of ABA Legal Ed Section

Barry Currier, Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education for the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, is stepping down at the end of the 2019-20 year after eight years in the position:

CurrierThe regular work of the Council in recent years has been driven by the impact of the recession on legal education and profound changes in both the legal profession and higher education sectors. The changes continue. Indeed, we are closer to the beginning, not the end, of the change cycle. We might prefer to catch our breath, digest what has been done, and assess next steps; but the need for change persists and there is no time to waste – we will be multi-tasking for the foreseeable future.

Among the big picture, long-term matters to be tackled is how the ABA law school accreditation process can be improved to better assure, indeed advance, the quality of the education that law schools deliver to their students while, at the same time, broadening access to legal education and taking steps to assure that we are producing graduates who will help build a more inclusive, fair, and just legal system. The process must intentionally shift its focus to more clearly place students, the quality of learning, and meaningful access as the core of what we do and how we do it.

Search for Next Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education Begins:

Continue reading

August 6, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, August 5, 2019

Kronman: The Downside of Diversity: Assault On American Excellence

Chronicle of Higher Education, ‘Elite Schools Are National Treasures. Their Elitism Is What Makes Them Such.’:

KronmanSince stepping down from his 10-year tenure as dean of Yale Law School, Anthony T. Kronman has been thinking a lot about the larger purposes of a humanities education. He’s addressed the topic in two books, Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life (Yale, 2007) and Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan (Yale, 2016), this last a 1,000-page exploration of his personal theology that draws on thinkers from antiquity to Freud to Rawls. (Kronman earned a Ph.D. in philosophy and spent some time undergoing psychoanalysis.) As Joshua Rothman put it in The New Yorker, Kronman "suspects that he might have found the meaning of life."

His most recent book, The Assault on American Excellence, will be published by Free Press in August. It’s a crisply argued jeremiad about what Kronman sees as the wrong turn taken by elite universities in recent years. Under the guise of concerns for inclusion and a misplaced egalitarianism, Kronman argues, universities have abandoned what should be their core commitments to reasoned argumentation and, more controversially, to the development of an "aristocratic ethos."

I met with Kronman in his office at the Yale Law School to talk about democracy and aristocracy, campus debates over free speech, affirmative action, and what he calls "the conversational ideal." ...

Much of your argument depends on the tension between democratic and aristocratic values. Colleges — and you’re really talking about elite colleges, here — ought to preserve, you say, "an aristocratic ethos in an otherwise democratic culture."

Continue reading

August 5, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Characteristics Of Lawyers Who Are Subject To Complaints And Misconduct Findings: Older Males In Smaller Non-Urban Law Firms

Tara Sklar (Arizona), Yamna Taouk (Melbourne), David Studdert (Stanford), Matthew Spittal (Melbourne),  Ron Paterson (Health and Disability Commissioner) & Marie Bismark (Melbourne), Characteristics of Lawyers Who Are Subject to Complaints and Misconduct Findings, 16 J. Empirical Legal Stud. 318 (2019):

Regulators of the legal profession are charged with protecting the public by ensuring lawyers are fit to practice law. However, their approach tends to be reactive and case based, focusing on the resolution of individual complaints. Regulators generally do not seek to identify patterns and trends across their broader caseloads and the legal profession as a whole. Using administrative data routinely collected by the main regulator of the legal profession in Victoria, Australia, we characterized complaints lodged between 2005 and 2015 and the lawyers against whom they were made. We also analyzed risk factors for complaints and misconduct findings. We found the odds of being subject to a complaint were higher among lawyers who were male, older, had trust account authority and whose practices were smaller, in non-urban locations, and incorporated. A deeper understanding of these risk factors could support efforts to improve professional standards and reform regulatory practices.

Continue reading

August 5, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Testy: Building The Future Of Justice: Law School Applicants 2019

Building the Future of Justice: Law School Applicants 2019
Kellye Y. Testy (President & CEO, Law School Admissions Council)

Testy (2019)Last year on this blog, I was happy to report an 8.1 percent increase in U.S. law school applicants and an 8.7 percent increase in law school applications for the 2018-2019 admission cycle. These increases were the largest since 2010 when a steep downturn began, the effects of which are still reverberating in American legal education. For this year — the 2019-2020 admission cycle — applicants have again increased, but more modestly, and there are important trend lines to watch as the next cycle begins.

With nearly all our 2019-2020 applicant and application data accounted for, as of July 31, 2019 we’re seeing 62,427 applicants to U.S. law schools which represents a 3.3 percent increase over last year and an 11.6 percent increase over a two-year period. Note that you can follow this and other data by checking our data library, which is updated daily. We’re also seeing an increase of 7.3 percent in the number of LSATs administered (26.7 percent when looking at a two-year period), and a 3.2 percent increase in new test takers. Because almost all applicants begin their enrollment journey by taking the LSAT, national trends in test takers help preview the coming cycles.

Continue reading

August 5, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, August 4, 2019

NY Times: Need Extra Time On Tests? It Helps To Have Cash

New York Times, Need Extra Time on Tests? It Helps to Have Cash:

From Weston, Conn., to Mercer Island, Wash., word has spread on parenting message boards and in the stands at home games: A federal disability designation known as a 504 plan can help struggling students improve their grades and test scores. But the plans are not doled out equitably across the United States.

In the country’s richest enclaves, where students already have greater access to private tutors and admissions coaches, the share of high school students with the designation is double the national average. In some communities, more than one in 10 students have one — up to seven times the rate nationwide, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. ...

Students in every ZIP code are dealing with anxiety, stress and depression as academic competition grows ever more cutthroat. But the sharp disparity in accommodations raises the question of whether families in moneyed communities are taking advantage of the system, or whether they simply have the means to address a problem that less affluent families cannot. ...

While experts say that known cases of outright fraud are rare, and that most disability diagnoses are obtained legitimately, there is little doubt that the process is vulnerable to abuse. Some of the learning differences exist in diagnostic gray areas that can make it difficult to determine whether a teenager is struggling because of parental and school pressure or because of a psychological impairment. And private mental health practitioners operate with limited oversight, either from school systems or from within their own professions. ...

In an analysis of Department of Education data, The Times looked at students with 504 designations at more than 11,000 high schools across the country. It did not include students who are served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a further-reaching program that can also offer extra testing time, but is generally meant for students more severely affected by disabilities.

The Times found a glaring wealth gap in 504 designations. At high schools in the richest school districts — the top 1 percent as measured by census income data — 5.8 percent of students held a 504 plan, more than double the national average of 2.7 percent. Some wealthy districts had 504 rates of up to 18 percent.


Continue reading

August 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Fall 2019 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2019 submission season covering 203 law reviews.

The first chart (pp. 1-52) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, ExpressO, regular mail, Scholastica, or Twitter)
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 53-59) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

Continue reading

August 4, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

College Financial-Aid Loophole: Wealthy Parents Transfer Guardianship Of Their Teens To Get Aid

Wall Street Journal, College Financial-Aid Loophole: Wealthy Parents Transfer Guardianship of Their Teens to Get Aid:

Amid an intense national furor over the fairness of college admissions, the Education Department is looking into a tactic that has been used in some suburbs here, in which wealthy parents transfer legal guardianship of their college-bound children to relatives or friends so the teens can claim financial aid, say people familiar with the matter.

The strategy caught the department’s attention amid a spate of guardianship transfers here. It means that only the children’s earnings were considered in their financial-aid applications, not the family income or savings. That has led to awards of scholarships and access to federal financial aid designed for the poor, these people said.

Several universities in Illinois say they are looking into the practice, which is legal. ...

Continue reading

August 3, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

How Two Law Schools Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom

Legal Tech News, Curriculum Comes Alive: How Two Law Schools Use Virtual Reality in the Classroom:

In recent years, law schools have injected a host of technologically-savvy initiatives into their curriculum, ranging from start-up incubators to online-centric coursework and beyond. But some law schools are looking to move their curriculum into a new dimension: the third dimension, to be specific.

The educational tracks at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference opened with “Virtual Reality in the Law Classroom,” a presentation of what two law schools have done with 360 video and 3-D modeling technologies to increase their students’ learning. Kenton Brice, director of technology innovation at University of Oklahoma College of Law, and Jenny Wondracek, director of legal educational technology at UNT Dallas College of Law, demonstrated that while the technology may seem futuristic, adopting it is feasible now.

Continue reading

August 3, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 2, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Continue reading

August 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Learning Theory And The Law: Spaced Retrieval And The Law School Curriculum

Brian Sites (Barry), Learning Theory and the Law: Spaced Retrieval and the Law School Curriculum, 43 Law & Psychol. Rev. 99 (2019):

Over one hundred years of learning theory endorse a core learning method and its component parts, and studies in a variety of disciplines and settings have repeatedly verified their supremacy as learning tools. Yet law schools largely make no use of them. One of the schools that does, however, reported a 19.2% increase in bar passage among students using it; and another law school cited it as a pivotal component of its multiple top bar scores in a state with a dozen law schools (many of which have similar or higher predictors).s Yet the typical law school curriculum ignores it, the traditional law classroom makes little use of it, and innumerable law students-who often do not know about or use the theory-are led instead down the opposite path by professors. This article advocates for changing these mistakes.

The learning tool at issue is spaced retrieval. Studies have shown that spaced retrieval and its component parts, spaced repetition and retrieval theory, lead to better, more durable learning. Their value has been established in a variety of educational settings ranging from middle school to medical school, and from the study of mathemtics to Monet. Further, reported improvements exceed a letter grade increase. What student wouldn't desire a letter grade improvement in learning mastery (even if the curve prevented an actual letter grade increase)? What law school wouldn't want to see something in the range of a ten percent increase in bar exam scores?

Continue reading

August 2, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across The Law School Curriculum

Diana R. Donahoe (Georgetown) & Julie Ross (Georgetown), Lighting the Fires of Learning in Law School: Implementing ABA Standard 314 by Incorporating Effective Formative Assessment Techniques Across the Curriculum:

The American Bar Association now requires law schools to incorporate formative assessment into the law school curriculum by providing feedback to students relating to course-specific learning goals before the end-of-semester exam. Peer reviews and self-evaluations are two powerful formative assessment techniques that faculty can use to meet the new ABA standards to assess the students’ learning outcomes while courses are ongoing, creating more effective learning environments within the classroom.

This article argues that peer reviews and self-evaluations can be successfully used across the law school curriculum to deepen student understanding, encourage student cooperation, and develop students’ abilities to be self-regulated learners in law school.

Continue reading

August 2, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

60% Of Law Firms, Companies Plan To Increase Legal Hiring Over Next Six Months, Especially In Litigation

Press Release, 6 In 10 Law Firms, Companies Plan To Add New Legal Jobs In Next Six Months:

The legal field is expected to see an increase in hiring in the months ahead, with litigation driving the greatest job growth. According to Robert Half Legal's State of Legal Hiring research, nearly 6 in 10 U.S.-based lawyers (59%) said their law firm or company plans to expand their legal teams in the second half of 2019, up 12 percentage points from the last time the survey was conducted. More than one-third of lawyers (36%) anticipate staffing only vacated positions, while 2% said they would neither staff vacated positions nor create new ones. Only 1% expect staffing reductions.

More than one-quarter of lawyers (27%) predict litigation will generate the most employment opportunities during the next six months, followed by general business/commercial law, which received 21% of the response, and privacy, data security and information law (15%).

Robert Hall

Continue reading

August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

More On The 50 Most-Cited Tax Articles of All Time

Following up on my previous post on Jonathan H. Choi (NYU), The 50 Most-Cited Tax Articles of All Time, 36 Yale J. on Reg.: Notice & Comment (May 11, 2019):

47 authors (40 men, 7 women) wrote the 50 most-cited tax articles, 8 (7 men, 1 woman) more than once:

Author Frequency
Boris Bittker  4
David Weisbach  4
Joseph Bankman  3
Stanley Surrey  3
Reuven Avi-Yonah  2
Michael Graetz  2
Marjorie Kornhauser  2
Edward Zelinsky  2
Bruce Ackerman  1
Anne Alstott  1
William Andrews  1
Lily Batchelder  1
Walter Blum  1
Paul Caron  1
Marvin Chirelstein  1
Dan Coenen  1
Richard Doernberg  1
Peter Enrich  1
Victor Fleischer  1
Pamela Gann  1
Mark Gergen  1
Fred Goldberg 1
Thomas Griffith 1
Erwin Griswold  1
Daniel Halperin  1
David Hariton 1
Walter Hellerstein  1
Kristin Hickman  1
Harry Kalven 1
Louis Kaplow  1
Mark Kelman   1
Leandra Lederman  1
Fred McChesney  1
Beverly Moran  1
R.A. Musgrave  1
Jacob Nussim  1
Michael O’Hear  1
Peter Orszag 1
Randolph Paul 1
William Plumb 1
Eric Posner  1
David Schizer  1
Steven Shavell  1
Dan Shaviro  1
David Slawson  1
Joseph Sneed  1
William Whitford  1

The authors are from 22 law schools, 12 law schools are represented more than once:

School Frequency
Harvard 9
Chicago 7
Yale 6
Stanford 5
Columbia 4
Cardozo 2
Emory 2
Georgia 2
Michigan 2
Tulane 2
Duke 1
Indiana 1
Marquette 1
Minnesota 1
Northeastern 1
Pepperdine 1
UC-Berkeley 1
UC-Irvine 1
Vanderbilt 1
Wisconsin 1

The 50 most-cited tax articles were published in 21 law reviews (12 law reviews published 2 or more of the articles):

Continue reading

August 1, 2019 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Incorporating Mandatory Mentoring Programs For Junior Lawyers And Law Students Nationwide

Katerina P. Lewinbuk (South Texas), Kindling the Fire: The Call for Incorporating Mandatory Mentoring Programs for Junior Lawyers and Law Students Nationwide, 63 St. Louis U. L.J. 211 (2019):

With mentoring, the legal community can guide, mold, and aid those entering the legal field. Mentoring should begin in law school, just as 110 schools are currently doing, so that students can begin building important professional relationships. Mentoring will help students and attorneys avoid making rookie mistakes, give them the confidence and skills they need to grow, and teach them how to "practice law in accordance with the highest ideals of the profession."

As cases dealing with attorney discipline demonstrate, attorneys that have mentors will likely be more successful than those that never sought guidance in their profession. For instance, the case of Christman v. People demonstrated the negative outcomes attorneys face when they never had a chance to obtain mentorships. As the court indicated in that case, it is critical for newly admitted attorneys to have guidance early on in their professional careers. As such, many law schools now strongly encourage mentorships for students.

Currently, the implementation of mentorship programs is being determined by each individual state. Six states currently require mentorship programs for newly admitted attorneys, others are joining the movement by implementing voluntary programs.' A number of law schools are also encouraging and creating programs for students entering law school by connecting them with alumni, student organizations, and practicing attorneys. Not only are mentorship programs beneficial for learning purposes, but they also serve as a means for rehabilitation when attorneys have gone astray.

Continue reading

August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

In A Life-Or-Death Crisis, Humility Is Everything

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  In a Life-or-Death Crisis, Humility Is Everything, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassMany of history’s most-celebrated leaders displayed a remarkable mix of courage and humility. But on the short list of leaders who’ve saved lives in the face of overwhelming odds [GM CEO Mary Barra, Johnson & Johnson CEO James Burke, United pilot Alfred Haynes, US Air pilot Chesley Sullenberger, Chilean miner Luis Urzúa], those two traits are nearly universal.

The reason, I suspect, is that they’re inextricably linked.

Few business leaders ever find themselves in the kind of fix where many lives hang in the balance. When they do, however, history suggests that a little humility can go a long way. ...

Humility isn’t a byproduct of heroism, it’s a precondition. Modest people achieve miracles under pressure because they’re far more likely to possess four major qualities that pay dividends in a crisis.

Continue reading

August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Subscribing To TaxProf Blog

SubscribeWe offer three ways to have TaxProf Blog content automatically delivered to your computer, tablet, or smart phone:

RSS Feeds:  You can subscribe to one of three different feeds to receive TaxProf Blog posts via your RSS reader:

Email:  You can subscribe to receive TaxProf Blog posts via email through one of three approaches:

  • FeedBlitz:  Enter your email address here to receive TaxProf Blog posts via email, delivered to you either daily, every 12 hours, every 8 hours, every 4 hours, or hourly (at your option).
  • TaxProf Blog Tax Email Service:  Email me to be added to my twice daily (during the week) and once daily (on the weekend) emails to the TaxProf Discussion Group with titles and links to recent TaxProf Blog posts on tax topics.
  • TaxProf Blog Legal Education Email Service:  Email me to be added to my email distribution list with titles and links to recent TaxProf Blog posts on legal education topics.

August 1, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Support TaxProf Blog By Shopping On Amazon

Amazon-associatesTaxProf Blog participates in the affiliate program. You can help support TaxProf Blog at no cost to you by making purchases through Amazon links on the blog and through the "Shop Amazon" tab on the header at the top of the blog:


and the search box in the right column of the blog:

Amazon Search

August 1, 2019 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Survey: Nearly Half Of All Students Are Distracted By Technology

Inside Higher Ed, Survey: Nearly Half of Students Distracted by Technology:

A recent survey found the use of technology in class, such as laptops or phones, for noneducational purposes was distracting to almost half of students, while others surveyed believe technology in the classroom is unavoidable.

The study was published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and surveyed 478 students and 36 instructors at the University of Waterloo [A Mixed Blessing? Students’ and Instructors’ Perspectives about Off-Task Technology Use in the Academic Classroom].

Of the undergraduate students surveyed, 49 percent said the use of technology for reasons not related to class, or “off-task” use, was distracting to them. However, students generally said they’ve used technology for off-task purposes regardless.

Continue reading

August 1, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Masters Programs And The Public Educational Mission Of Law Schools

Mark Edwin Burge (Texas A&M), Access to Law or Access to Lawyers? Masters Programs in the Public Educational Mission of Law Schools, 74 U. Miami L. Rev. __ (2019):

The general decline in J.D. law school applicants and enrollment over the last decade has coincided with the rise of a new breed of law degree. Whether known as a master of jurisprudence, juris master, or master of legal studies, these graduate degrees all have a target audience in common: adult professionals who neither are nor seek to become practicing attorneys. Inside legal academia and among the practicing bar, these degrees have been accompanied by expressed concerns that they detract from the traditional core public mission of law schools — educating lawyers. This article argues that non-lawyer masters programs are not a distraction from the public mission of law schools, nor are they a necessary evil foisted upon legal education by economic trends. Rather, such degrees reflect a paradigm shift that law schools and attorneys should embrace rather than resist: a move away from law being largely accessed primarily through a licensed elite and toward a greater role for autonomy in public engagement with the legal system.

Continue reading

July 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Burk, Organ & Rasiel: Law School Coping Strategies In The Changed Legal Education Market

Bernard A. Burk (formerly North Carolina), Jerome M. Organ (St. Thomas) & Emma Rasiel (Duke), Competitive Coping Strategies in the American Legal Academy: An Empirical Study, 19 Nev. L.J.  ___ (2019):

Many casual observers of the American legal academy are aware of the substantial falloff in both the number and the conventional qualifications of applicants to law school that began after 2010. But few appreciate how widespread and serious its effects have been. For the vast majority of law schools, those effects have been somewhere between significant and devastating.

From 2010-11 through 2016-17, the number of unique applicants to accredited law schools fell 36%, and the number of applications fell 44%, while students with the best conventional qualifications disproportionately stayed away. The effects on the academy have been profound, and sectors of the academy distinguished by their relative overall reputation for quality have reacted differently. Beyond the strongest law schools, many shrank by between a third and a half, and dropped 15 LSAT percentiles. We estimate that aggregate annual tuition revenue for all accredited American law schools fell over $1.5 billion from its inflation-adjusted peak in 2011-12. Generally we found, as might be expected, that the weaker a law school’s relative reputation for quality, the more difficulty it had attracting students with the credentials it sought, so that as reputation decreased, entering-class credentials (“Profile”), entering-class Size, and average tuition actually paid (“Net Tuition”) also decreased. But this general and unsurprising finding came with some surprising variations and exceptions. These results lead to four observations with important implications for the legal academy:

Table 1.1

Continue reading

July 31, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Caron Presents A Dean's Perspective On Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings Today At SEALS

One of the Legal Ed panels today at the 2019 SEALS Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Florida:

SEALs Logo (2013)Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings
This panel explores methodologies and programs that will help students from low income and diverse backgrounds have opportunities available to them to attend law school. AALS President Wendy Perdue of the University of Richmond has said: “As our society struggles with this problem of deep polarization, lawyers and law schools have an important role to play. Lawyers, are, after all, in the dispute resolution business. Resolving conflict is central to what we do. And today, perhaps more than ever before, the skills that we as lawyers have, and we as law professors teach, are of critical importance.” In order to resolve these conflicts, we need to make sure that all communities have access to engage in these important conversations. The Before the J.D. Study shows that African American and Hispanic students think about going to law school before going to high school and college. In addition, the study highlights that over 60% of students report the most important advice about going to graduate or professional school comes from a family member or relative. Many students from low-income backgrounds do not have family members who are lawyers and are at a disadvantage in getting advice about going to law school because they may not be encouraged by these close family members or friends. There is still a small percentage of African American and Latino/a attorneys Nationwide 5% of lawyers are African American and 5% are of Hispanic origin. These percentages have remained consistent for almost the past ten years. So many students from these racial and ethnic backgrounds also can’t readily turn to family members or friends for inspiration and advice about going to law school. The ABA reports that the entering class for 2017 has an aggregate African American enrollment of 8.6% and 13.2% for Hispanics. Meanwhile, African Americans consist of approximately 13% and Hispanics approximately 18% of the overall U.S. population. These two racial groups, along with Asian Americans, are on target to be a majority of the U.S. population in the next 30 years. Given the growth trends in these demographic groups, there will be an insufficient percent of lawyers from these groups to meet their (and society’s) legal needs in the next few years. Moreover, some scholars have argued that there is a strong tie between socioeconomics and law schools admissions. There has recently been a very passionate Twitter discussion of this issue on Lawprofblawg. Some believe that the LSAT and U.S. News privileges those from middle- and upper middle-class backgrounds. Others point out the LSAT’s strength in providing an accurate assessment of core skills required for success in law school and that an admission process that correctly uses the LSAT as one factor in a multi-factor holistic admission process is fairest to applicants. Recently, U.S. News attempted to reduce economic privilege in its rankings of undergraduate schools by injecting socio economic factors. The formula now includes indicators meant to measure "social mobility" and drops an acceptance rate measure that benefited schools that turned the most students away. A recent Politico article reported that U.S. News will change its methodology at the college level. This panel consists of experts who examine these issues in terms of the LSAT, U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, and socioeconomic and diversity issues.

  • Leonard Baynes (Dean, Houston), Pre-Law Pipeline Program: We’ve Got The Power
  • Paul Caron (Dean, Pepperdine), A Dean's Perspective on Diversity, Socioeconomics, the LSAT, and the U.S. News Law School Rankings
  • Victor Quintanilla (Professor & Co-Director, Center for Law, Society & Culture, Indiana), Initial Results on Relationship Between the LSAT, USNWR, SES, and Demographics From the Productive Mindset Intervention Study
  • Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News), Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News and World Report Rankings  
  • Kellye Testy (President & CEO, LSAC; former Dean, University of Washington), Adversity and Admission: Tackling “Opportunity to Learn”

July 31, 2019 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

NALP: Law School Graduates' Employment Outcomes Continue To Improve


Class of 2018 Employment Outcomes Approach Pre-Recession Levels (July 31, 2019):

This year’s Selected Findings show an employment rate that has improved for the third year in a row, increasing to 89.4% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared with 88.6% for the Class of 2017. Despite the rise in the overall employment rate, the number of jobs found by graduates declined again this year, by about 150 compared with the Class of 2017.

“The employment outcomes findings for members of the Class of 2018 are strong and, along with the findings for members of the Class of 2017, clearly mark the beginning of a new post-recession cohort. The employment outcomes for this class more closely resemble employment outcomes measured in the years before the recession than they do the classes that graduated between 2009 and 2013 in the immediate aftermath of the recession,” noted James G. Leipold, NALP’s executive director. “Certainly, the overall employment rate has improved because of two intertwined factors. First, and most importantly, the smaller graduating class has meant that there is less competition for the jobs that exist. Second, large law firm hiring has increased steadily since 2011, adding more than 1,900 jobs in seven years.”

Employment for the Class of 2018 — Selected Findings (July 30, 2019):

Undergirding the strength of these employment outcomes in part, however, is a smaller class rather than more jobs. For the fifth year in a row the employment rate has been shaped by a smaller number of jobs and a smaller graduating class size. The employment rate has risen not only because of an expanding economy and a strong large law firm market, but also because of the fall in the size of the graduating class. The size of the 2018 grad­uating class was almost 27% smaller than the historically large Class of 2013. During the same period the number of jobs secured by the graduating class has dropped by nearly 21% from the high measured for the Class of 2013. In very simple terms, the rise in the employment rate can be explained by the fact that the size of the graduating class has fallen faster than the number of jobs secured.


Continue reading

July 31, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chicago-Kent Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

Chicago-KentChicago-Kent College of Law expects to hire two or more entry-level or pre-tenure lateral faculty to join our vibrant and nationally recognized intellectual community. We are especially interested in candidates with a demonstrated commitment to scholarship and teaching in the following fields:

  • First-Year Subjects (including Legislation)
  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Labor/Employment Law
  • Tax Law

Continue reading

July 30, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Participation In Undergraduate Mock Trial Programs And Law School GPA

Teresa Nesbitt Cosby (Furman University), To the Head of the Class? Quantifying the Relationship Between Participation in Undergraduate Mock Trial Programs and Student Performance in Law School, 92 St. John's L. Rev. 797 (2018):

This Article seeks to answer the question of whether students who engage in undergraduate mock trial competitions gain a competitive advantage in law school. The Article will examine the pedagogy of experiential learning methods by analyzing how student performance in undergraduate school compares to how these same students perform in law school, and, importantly, whether these students are gainfully employed in a law-related career after law school. This is accomplished by conducting four interviews with Furman alumni who participated in the undergraduate mock trial program during their tenures, and a survey targeting law school students and recent graduates who participated in mock trial and those who did not participate by comparing LSAT scores, law school class standing, job market success, and other related factors. As a result of this study, this Article qualitatively and quantitatively discusses the benefits and detriments of an undergraduate mock trial experience in relation to successful law school performance and subsequent legal careers.

Conclusion. Mock trial is a competitive intellectual activity engaged in by very smart people. The average undergraduate grade point average of participants is 3.51 and the average SAT scores are between 1200-1400 for critical reading and math, which places these students in the 751 percentile of all test takers nationally. Just as mock trial students perform at a higher academic level than the majority of students who sat for the SAT and ACT, so do all law students who participated in the survey. The data shows that very smart students participate in mock trial and very smart students go to law school. The LSAT scores of students also showed similar results where the scores of all law students and students who participated in mock trial were within the same ranges. Finally, law school class ranking and law review participation, which are indicators of how well a student performs when compared to other students in their law school class, show that there is no significant difference between the academic performance of non-mock trial law school students and students who did participate in mock trial. The data shows that the majority of students who participate in mock trial do so because they think it will help them with their academic performance in law school. However, this belief is not supported by the data. Rather, the data show that there is no significant academic advantage for mock trial participants over their nonmock trial colleagues. Therefore, students may want to evaluate whether this activity will help them to achieve their goals. This conclusion is supported by the observations of Audrey, who felt that mock trial was not a good tool to prepare a student for the pedagogical process of law school.

Continue reading

July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ranking Legal Publications

Michael Birnhack (Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law), Oren Perez (Bar-Ilan University, Faculty of Law), Ronen Perry (University of Haifa, Faculty of Law) & Doron Teichman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law), Ranking Legal Publications: The Israeli Inter-University Committee Report:

PressThe Report offers a global ranking of academic legal publications, covering more than 900 outlets, and using a four-tier categorization. The ranking is based on a combined quantitative and qualitative methodology. The Report was composed in the context of the Israeli academic system, but the methodology and the results are not jurisdiction-specific.

Evaluating academic publications is a never-ending challenge. Such evaluation is an integral part of internal hiring, promotion, and tenure procedures, and of external funding decisions and institutional rankings. The proper way to evaluate academic publications has been the subject of fierce debate.

Continue reading

July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Profs' Professional Decline Comes (Much) Sooner Than You Think: Age 50 In Scholarship, 70s In Teaching

The Atlantic, Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think; Here’s How To Make the Most Of It.:

AtlanticIt was the summer of 2015, shortly after my 51st birthday. ... [M]y professional life was going very well. I was the president of a flourishing Washington think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. I had written some best-selling books. People came to my speeches. My columns were published in The New York Times.

But I had started to wonder: Can I really keep this going? I work like a maniac. But even if I stayed at it 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at some point my career would slow and stop. And when it did, what then? Would I one day be looking back wistfully and wishing I were dead? Was there anything I could do, starting now, to give myself a shot at avoiding misery—and maybe even achieve happiness—when the music inevitably stops?

Though these questions were personal, I decided to approach them as the social scientist I am, treating them as a research project. It felt unnatural—like a surgeon taking out his own appendix. But I plunged ahead, and for the past four years, I have been on a quest to figure out how to turn my eventual professional decline from a matter of dread into an opportunity for progress.

Here’s what I’ve found.

Continue reading

July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Maintaining Scholarly Integrity In The Age Of Bibliometrics

Andrew T. Hayashi (Virginia) & Gregory Mitchell (Virginia), Maintaining Scholarly Integrity in the Age of Bibliometrics, 68 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

Journal of Legal Education (2018)As quantitative measures of scholarly impact gain prominence in the legal academy, we should expect institutions and scholars to engage in a variety of tactics designed to inflate the apparent influence of their scholarly output. We identify these tactics and identify countermeasures that should be taken to prevent this manipulation. The rise of bibliometrics poses a significant risk to the scholarly endeavor but, with foresight, we can maintain scholarly integrity in the age of bibliometrics.

July 30, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 29, 2019

University Of Alaska Declares Financial Exigency, Paving The Way For Program Cuts, Tenured Faculty Layoffs

Chronicle of Higher Education, University of Alaska Regents Vote to Declare Financial Exigency:

AlaskaThe University of Alaska’s Board of Regents declared financial exigency on Monday, calling it a sad but necessary step given the budget crisis created by a 41-percent cut in the university’s budget from the state.

The vote was 10 to 1 in favor of the declaration, which system leaders said was needed to allow the system to downsize rapidly. That could include closing programs and laying off tenured faculty members.

“It’s hard for me to contemplate the path we may have to go down,” said John Davies, the board’s chairman. “But we do have a fiduciary responsibility to be sure the institution survives. Unfortunately, I think we’re grappling with survival.” ...

Continue reading

July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. News Pulls Rankings Of UC-Berkeley (#22), Scripps (#30), And 3 Other Colleges For Misreporting Data

U.S. News & World Report, Updates to 5 Schools' 2019 Best Colleges Rankings Data:

U.S. News 2019 College RankingsFive Schools Notified U.S. News that they misreported data used to calculate their rankings for the 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The schools are the University of California-Berkeley, Scripps College, Mars Hill University, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and Johnson & Wales University.

What Does This Mean?
The misreporting by each school resulted in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise would have been. Because of the discrepancies, U.S. News has moved the schools to the "Unranked" category, meaning they do not receive numerical ranks.

All five schools' Unranked status will last until the publication of the next edition of the Best Colleges rankings and until the schools confirm the accuracy of their next data submission in accordance with U.S. News' requirements. All other schools' rankings in the 2019 Best Colleges will remain the same on

University of California—Berkeley: The school originally reported that its two-year average alumni giving rate for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 was 11.6%. UC-Berkeley informed U.S. News that its correct average alumni giving rate for just fiscal year 2016 was 7.9%. The school also told U.S. News that it incorrectly included pledges in the alumni giving data provided to U.S. News since at least 2014. The average alumni giving rate has a weight of 5% in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

Continue reading

July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Law Professor Bruce Hay: 'The Most Gullible Man In Cambridge'

Check out this bizarre, fascinating New York Magazine piece on Bruce Hay, a Harvard Law Professor: The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge.

Continue reading

July 29, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)