TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Ryan: Analyzing Law School Choice

CJ Ryan (Roger Williams), Analyzing Law School Choice:

The contemporary crisis in law school enrollments presents a timely opportunity to evaluate a subject that has received little academic attention: student choice in legal education. In order to address the present lack of understanding about what motivates post-Recession law students to enroll in law school, this article examines several of the factors that bear on the choice to attend law school from the results of an original survey distributed to current law students at a four law schools—a private elite law school, a public flagship law school, a public regional law school, and a private new law school—in the 2017–2018 academic year. This article analyzes the salience of location, information, opportunity cost, and cost sensitivity in the context of a law student’s decision to enroll in law school. The results from this survey indicate that legal education is a highly stratified market for consumers on the basis of their preferences. It is hoped that these results will shed greater light on and knowledge of the most understudied group in professional graduate education—law students.

Ryan 4

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February 6, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Visiting Professors For 2019-20

Pepperdine (2019)Pepperdine University School of Law is seeking to hire one or more visiting professors for the fall 2019 semester and/or the spring 2020 semester. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis depending on curricular needs. Possible areas of need include Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts, Community Property, Copyright. Corporations, Evidence, Federal Income Tax, and Wills & Trusts.

The School of Law is an ABA accredited, AALS member law school located in Malibu, California. Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.

The School of Law welcomes applications from people of all faiths and is particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who may bring greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity to the faculty.

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February 6, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

WSJ: 'Demonstrated Interest' (Opening Email, Clicking On Links) Matters As Much As Class Rank And Recommendations In College Admissions Decisions (To Bolster Yield)

Wall Street Journal, Colleges Mine Data on Their Applicants:

WSJSome colleges, in an effort to sort through a growing number of applications, are quietly tracking prospective students’ online interaction with the schools and considering it in deciding whom to admit.

Enrollment officers at institutions including Seton Hall University, Quinnipiac University and Dickinson College know down to the second when prospective students opened an email from the school, how long they spent reading it and whether they clicked through to any links. Boston University knows if prospective students RSVP’d online to an event—and then didn’t show.

Schools use this information to help determine what they call “demonstrated interest,” or how much consideration an applicant is giving their school. Demonstrated interest is becoming increasingly important as colleges face a rising number of applications and want to protect or improve their yields—the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll.

Demonstrated interest started becoming important about a decade ago with the growth of the common application, which allows students to apply to more schools with little additional effort. Schools saw a rise in applicants but a drop in yield among accepted students. Yield fell among four-year, private, not-for-profit colleges to 34.5% in 2017 from 49% in 2003, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data. A drop can hurt a school’s reputation and make filling its class a challenge.

In 2017, 37% of 493 schools surveyed by the National Association of College Admission Counseling said they consider demonstrated interest to be of moderate importance—on par with teacher recommendations, class rank and extracurricular activities. It carried less weight than grades, class rigor or board scores.

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February 6, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How I Learned To Love The Patriots (Again)

Boston GlobeFollowing up on Sunday's post, Death, Taxes, And The New England Patriots: New York Times op-ed: How I Learned to Love the Patriots (Again), by Russ Douthat:

I became a besotted baseball fan at the age of 6, watching the Boston Red Sox, my mother’s ancestral team, march to the World Series against the New York Mets. My parents woke me up near midnight on Oct. 25, 1986, to come downstairs with them and “watch the Red Sox win” — an eventuality that was, at that moment, just a single out away. It remained one out away through three singles, a devastating wild pitch and an incident that shall not be described involving one William Joseph Buckner. I wept, slept and awoke a gloomy pessimist, forever haunted by the fall of man.

I became a football fan around the same time, and I figured I should root for the Patriots as well, in New England solidarity. They had recently played (albeit embarrassingly badly) in a Super Bowl, so I was unaware of their long, distinguished legacy of lousy play. But by the time I turned 10 and they were working their way through a 1-15 season, with a 2-14 encore just around the corner, I understood a little better the implications of my choice.

This combination of Red Sox tragedy and Patriot futility defined my relationship to professional sports until adulthood, at which point (as you may have heard) absolutely everything changed for both teams and they became insufferably dominant. And my fandom, forged in suffering and melodrama and “wait ’till next year” rue, never quite recovered from my favorite teams’ success. ...

[T]rying to raise my children to be New England sports fans in an age of constant New England winning has given me real sympathy with the lukewarmly religious, the Christmas-and-Easter sort of believer who wants to impart some measure of piety to their children without really experiencing the flame of faith themselves. ...

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February 5, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should Law Schools Try To ‘De-Bias’ Faculty Recruiting By Eliminating CVs, Interviews?

Inside Higher Ed, Trying to ‘De-Bias’ Faculty Recruiting:

CVs and interviews are being removed from university hiring processes under a new approach to “de-bias” academic recruitment being pioneered in Britain.

The Recruiting for Difference approach, billed as an attempt to address biases around gender, ethnicity and university background, is led by the recruitment firm Diversity by Design, co-founded by the writer and broadcaster Simon Fanshawe, former chair of council at the University of Sussex.

Fanshawe, a founder of the LGBT equality charity Stonewall, said the aim was to “de-bias” to the greatest extent possible, explaining that, under this approach, “what you don’t use in the short-listing process at all is CVs.” He argued that stripping out CVs allowed universities to see the true qualities of the people they were considering for jobs.

The application process allows applicants to state which journals they have published in and the roles they played in these papers. But candidates’ names do not figure in the short-listing process -- thus their gender and ethnicity are not revealed -- and at no stage of the hiring process is it disclosed at which universities candidates have worked or studied.

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February 5, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)

Temple Seeks To Hire Graduate Tax Program Director

TempleThe Temple Law School Graduate Tax Program seeks to hire a new Director:

The Director will have the title of "Director of the Graduate Tax Program and Practice Professor of Law" and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the program. The individual selected will:

  • Direct LL.M. program, including administration, student affairs, and faculty support
  • Oversee and conduct student recruitment, enrollment, and support, including through marketing, communications, and admissions events and projects
  • Design curriculum and recruit adjunct faculty
  • Oversee both live and online content of the program, which involves both day and evening coursework and certificate programs
  • Ensure program complies with ABA requirements
  • Manage and engage network of LL.M. alumni
  • Work with law school leadership and faculty to develop tax program opportunities, potentially including increasing online offerings, launching and managing a Masters in Taxation program for non-lawyers
  • Teach two tax courses annually

Applicants should have the following credentials, experience and skills:

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February 5, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Simkovic: Raising Tenure Standards Is No Free Lunch

Michael Simkovic (USC), Raising Tenure Standards Is No Free Lunch:

Brian Leiter and Paul Caron both recently noted a study by Adam Chilton, Jonathan Masur, and Kyle Rozema which argues that law schools can increase average faculty productivity by making it harder for tenure track faculty to get tenure.  While this seems plausible, denying tenure more often is no free lunch. 

A highly regarded study by Ron Ehrenberg (published in the Review of Economics and Statistics) found that professors place a high monetary value on tenure, and a university that unilaterally eliminated tenure would either have to pay more in salary and bonus or suffer a loss in faculty quality. After controlling for faculty quality, university rank, and cost of living, university economics departments that are less likely to offer faculty tenure must pay untenured faculty more, in part to compensate for increased risk.  Reduced tenure rates is associated with higher productivity, but it is costly. ...

Unless a law school has a large pot of money ready to increase faculty compensation, increasing tenure denial rates is risky business.

Brian Leiter (Chicago), On the Costs of Denying Tenure:

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February 4, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

College Endowment Rankings

Chronicle of Higher Education, Which Colleges Have the Largest Endowments?:

Colleges that participated in the 2018 Nacubo-TIAA Study of Endowments returned an average of 8.2 percent on their endowments for the 2018 fiscal year, compared with 12.2 percent for the 2017 fiscal year. The drop in the percentage was largely because of a decline in U.S. and international equity markets. Thirteen institutions had endowments valued at $10 billion or more, compared with 10 the previous year. Nearly half of the money colleges withdrew from their endowments was spent to support student scholarships and other financial-aid programs. Two-thirds of the colleges reported that they had increased spending from their endowments in the 2018 fiscal year, with a median increase among those institutions of 6.6 percent.

Pepperdine is #124 (out of 802 colleges and universities) with an endowment of $892 million.

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February 4, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Death, Taxes, And The New England Patriots

PatriotsMockingbird, Death, Taxes, and the New England Patriots:

In 2 Corinthians 3:7-11, Paul writes about two “ministries.” Here’s what he says:

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory”

The New England Patriots are a ministry of death. Their greatness is carved in letters on stone. They are so glorious that mere mortals cannot look them full in the face. Tom Brady wears Ugg boots in public and barely takes any heat for it. The Patriots are unassailable. I do not rend my garments and I do not gnash my teeth for a simple reason: I am already dead.

The42, Death, Taxes, and the New England Patriots:

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February 3, 2019 in Celebrity Tax Lore, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

After Rebuffing Sale To InfiLaw, Dean Says Charleston Law School 's Conversion To Nonprofit Will Be Completed In 2020

Charleston Logo (2017)Post and Courier, Charleston School of Law Still Recovering From Turbulence:

The ripple effect of an ill-fated business deal still haunts the Charleston School of Law, but leaders say they are taking steps to improve the school’s services and bolster its reputation.

The for-profit school was only 10 years old when its founders attempted to sell it to an outside group, Florida-based InfiLaw System, in 2013. The deal-makers met a formidable foe: a well-organized posse of fresh law school graduates who felt the sale would damage their alma mater’s future by lowering its standards.

The alumni rallied, protested and matched wits with their opponents — and they won. The sale was called off, and today the school is in the midst of a shift from for-profit to nonprofit status.

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February 3, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

NY Times: He Committed Murder. Then He Graduated From An Elite Law School.

New York Times, He Committed Murder. Then He Graduated From an Elite Law School. Would You Hire Him as Your Attorney?:

In September 1992, a Rhode Island community college professor named Charles Russell picked up a 19-year-old hitchhiker on an interstate. The two men eventually made it to Mr. Russell’s home, where they smoked marijuana and talked books for hours.

About a week later, the hitchhiker returned. The two men talked and smoked again. But as Mr. Russell performed oral sex on him, the younger man became enraged. He picked up a knife and began stabbing at Mr. Russell’s neck.

Mr. Russell tried to defend himself with a fireplace poker, but the man wrested it from his hand and beat him until he stopped moving. As the younger man was dressing, Mr. Russell rose to his feet, picked up a small statue and charged. The man took the statue away and delivered several more blows, fatally crushing Mr. Russell’s skull.

A year later, acting on a tip, the police arrested Bruce Reilly. He confessed that he had snapped during the sexual encounter, and that the fight had escalated once Mr. Russell fought back. ...

In prison, Mr. Reilly became something of an ascetic. He read and wrote for hours each day and strictly limited his TV intake. He accumulated a small circle of friends who believed he had special insight into surviving incarceration. They would write essays on a chosen topic, like whether democracy was the best form of government, and circulate them for feedback.

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February 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, February 1, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Pepperdine Hosts Festschrift Honoring Bob Cochran

Cochran Cover 2

Today is a special day at Pepperdine as we celebrate the life and work of our dear friend and colleague, Bob Cochran. These law, religion, and ethics scholars will discuss the lasting impact of Bob's scholarship (program):

  • Roger Alford (Notre Dame)
  • Barbara Armacost (Virginia)
  • William Brewbaker (Alabama)
  • Zachary Calo (Hamad Bin Khalifa University)
  • Angela Carmella (Seton Hall)
  • David Caudill (Villanova)
  • Nathan Chapman (Georgia)
  • Ken Elzinga (Virginia)
  • Richard Garnett (Notre Dame)
  • David Han (Pepperdine)
  • Michael McConnell (Stanford)
  • David Skeel (Pennsylvania)
  • Amy Uelmen (Georgetown)
  • David VanDrunen (Westminster Seminary)

I was honored to write the following in today's program:

Pepperdine Law is delighted to host this Festschrift in honor of our beloved colleague, Bob Cochran. Bob embodies everything we hold dear at Pepperdine: a faith-fueled dedication to the well-being and success of our students — personally, professionally, and spiritually; a career-long commitment to ambitious and impactful scholarship, intertwining faith and law in the beautiful mosaic of his work; and a life-long devotion to faith and service. Generations of students have affectionately referred to Bob as "coach." In truth, Bob acts as "coach" for all of us at Pepperdine Law —-- students, staff, faculty, and deans alike. We are all better scholars, teachers, students, workers, servants, and people because of his presence among us.

Special thanks to Derek Muller and Jenna DeWalt for putting together such an amazing day.

February 1, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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February 1, 2019 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

How Academic Support Professionals Can Better Support LGBTQ Law Students

Sarah Schendel (Suffolk), How Academic Support Professionals Can Better Support LGBTQ Law Students – And Why We Should:

This short essay addresses the unique role that academic support professionals can play in supporting LGBTQ students.

January 31, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal Judge Approves $5.5 Million Settlement In Temple U.S. News Rankings Scandal

Temple University (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below): Wall Street Journal, Temple University Settles Suit Over Fudged Data on M.B.A. Ranking:

Temple University will pay nearly $5.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by current and former business-school students after the university acknowledged that its online M.B.A. program’s top spot in a nationwide ranking was based on false data.

Under the terms of the settlement, for which a federal judge issued a preliminary approval Thursday, Temple will pay $4 million to students and alumni of its online masters of business administration program.

An additional $1.475 million will go toward students from other Fox Business School programs for which the university said it also submitted incorrect data to U.S. News & World Report for its annual rankings.

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January 31, 2019 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Policing Grammar And Diction In The Multicultural Law School Classroom

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Policing Grammar and Diction in the Multicultural Law School Classroom, by Dan Subotnik (Touro):

How should a faculty member react when a student keeps saying AKS instead of ASK?

A little background. At an AALS session in early January, Socio-Economic Pedagogy and Implicit Bias, a presenter was lamenting that, Afros aside, black women are sometimes constrained by employers in choosing hair styles. The braided hair that she was wearing, she pointed out, can be deeply rooted in black traditions, which would make interference with such hair choice both patriarchal and racially supremacist.

This illustration of implicit bias led me to a thought having nothing to do with hair. So I, a white man, ventured to explain to the panel that because I think that grammar is crucial to in-person and written communications, and because bad grammar can be taken as a sign of an inadequate education, I make it my business to correct it in class. (“I have went” and “between he and I” are not all that uncommon Long Islandisms.) Similarly, although in this case only in private, I advise individual students that their diction might hold them back in the future, and I offer to help in that regard.

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January 30, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Law Profs Should Talk Less, Smile More

Julie A. Oseid (St. Thomas (Minnesota)), Talk Less, Smile More, 67 J. Legal Educ. ___ (2019):

The loss of my voice from laryngitis sparks my most successful teaching experience and teaches me five things about teaching. First, I talk way more than I think I do. Second, forced creativity is still creativity. Third, talking is the easy way to teach. Fourth, students are resilient. Fifth, I don’t want to get in the way of my brilliant students.

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January 30, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: Paul Weiss All-White Partner Class Stirs Debate On Diversity

Paul Weiss

New York Times, Elite Law Firm’s All-White Partner Class Stirs Debate on Diversity:

The post appeared on LinkedIn in early December: Paul, Weiss, one of the country’s most prominent and profitable law firms, said it was “pleased to announce” its new partner class.

In the image, 12 lawyers looked out at the world, grinning.

What followed, however, was nothing to smile about. In short order, people across the industry began to comment that all of the faces were white, and only one was a woman’s. ...

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January 30, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

NY Times: The Hard Part Of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

New York Times, The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class:

Lured by the prospect of high-salary, high-status jobs, college students are rushing in record numbers to study computer science.

Now, if only they could get a seat in class.

On campuses across the country, from major state universities to small private colleges, the surge in student demand for computer science courses is far outstripping the supply of professors, as the tech industry snaps up talent. At some schools, the shortage is creating an undergraduate divide of computing haves and have-nots — potentially narrowing a path for some minority and female students to an industry that has struggled with diversity.

The number of undergraduates majoring in the subject more than doubled from 2013 to 2017, to over 106,000, while tenure-track faculty ranks rose about 17 percent, according to the Computing Research Association, a nonprofit that gathers data from about 200 universities.


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January 30, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This Is Higher Education’s Golden Age

Two CheersChronicle of Higher Education:  Is This Higher Education’s Golden Age?, by Steven Brint (UC-Riverside; author, Two Cheers for Higher Education: Why American Universities Are Stronger than Ever — and How to Meet the Challenges They Face (Princeton University Press 2019):

American universities appear to be in deep trouble. Consider a few recent headlines: in The Atlantic: “The Pillaging of America’s State Universities” and “The Broken Promise of Higher Education”; in The New York Review of Books: “Our Universities: The Outrageous Reality” and “The Hi-Tech Mess of Higher Education.” The Chronicle, too, has contributed to the pervasive negativity: “An Era of Neglect,” “Higher Education Is Drowning in BS,” “The Slow Death of the University.”

Scholars have joined the joyless chorus. For many of them, American universities have transformed themselves into market-oriented enterprises, barely different from corporations: They charge exorbitant fees, effectively excluding students from the bottom half of the socioeconomic hierarchy; they shortchange students’ educational experiences by obsessing over the bottom line; they have created a caste system with low-paid adjuncts doing most of the teaching. In the scramble for dollars, these critics assert, universities have forsaken their social and cultural responsibilities.

The truly puzzling feature of this narrative is how little relation it bears to reality. Far from supporting this gloomy perspective, the statistical evidence suggests that American universities have never been stronger or more prominent in public life than they are now. At major research universities, from 1980 to 2010, research expenditures grew by more than 10 times in inflation-adjusted dollars, while high-quality publications cataloged in the Web of Science grew by nearly three times. Few, if any, sectors were as important to the emerging knowledge economy as universities, and the federal government supported their development with high, if never fully sufficient, funding. Federal R&D funding, estimated at more than $30 billion in 2017, is largely responsible for the explosive growth of research during this period. The federal financial-aid system provided essential fuel for higher education’s expansion, doling out about $65 billion in Pell Grants, work-study funds, and tax benefits in 2015 — not counting the hundreds of billions of dollars in loans that are also available through federal lending. Both support systems have trended sharply upward in inflation-adjusted dollars since the 1980s, including during recessionary periods.

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January 29, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA House Of Delegates Again Rejects 75% Bar Passage Within 2 Years Accreditation Standard, 79% to 21%; Final Decision Rests With Council

ABA Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, ABA House of Delegates Rejects Changes to the Bar Passage Standard for Law Schools:

For the second time, the ABA House of Delegates voted against a proposal to tighten a bar passage rate standard for accredited law schools. At the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas on Monday, House members were asked to stand for a vote count, and the final vote was 88 in favor of the resolution, and 334 opposed. 

Language in Resolution 105called for at least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates to pass a bar exam within a two-year period. Under ABA rules, the house can send a potential revision, which today was for Standard 316, back to the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar twice for review with or without recommendations, but the council has the final decision on matters related to law school accreditation. ...

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January 29, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

How To Choose Where To Get Your Tax LL.M. Degree

LLM 2Above the Law, How To Choose Where To Get Your Tax LL.M. Degree:

A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether it is a good idea to get a LL.M. in Taxation after law school. To make a long story short, go if you know what you want to do after graduation and have either prior professional tax experience or have done well in your tax classes. Don’t go just because you think tax “sounds interesting,” or you want to do a law school do-over.

So today, I want to give some advice to help future tax lawyers choose the right Tax LL.M. program. ...

First, consider options other than a Tax LL.M. Some law schools do not have a formal Tax LL.M. program but award a general LL.M. with a tax specialization. There are also other advanced tax degrees. The more common ones are the Master of Taxation, the Master of Science in Taxation, and the Master of Business Taxation degrees. There are also MBA programs with a focus on tax and accounting. ... Which one is right for you depends on your goals. ...

Second, when it comes to Tax LL.M. degrees, rankings still matter, although to a point. The TaxProf Blog publishes its annual top tax law programs taken from the U.S. News Tax Law Rankings. NYU is consistently ranked as the top Tax LL.M. program, with Florida and Georgetown rounding out the top three. The rest of the top stay the same although their rank tends to shuffle every year.

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January 29, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Skadden, Proskauer Get Creative To Recruit Women And Minority Law Students

PSNational Law Journal, Skadden, Proskauer Get Creative to Recruit Women and Minority Law Students:

A pair of prominent law firms are stepping up their efforts to recruit women and minority law students with programs they say are unlike any others now offered in Big Law.

In June, Proskauer will launch its first Proskauer Prep bootcamp, bringing 30 women who are about to start law school to the firm’s New York office for a week of instruction on how to succeed in law school.

And Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is beefing up its six-year-old 1L Scholars Program, allowing participants who return as summer associates the following year to design their own experience—choosing practice areas and offices where they wish to work and offering them a paid externship at the firm during the school year.

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January 28, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

The 'Magnificent 7' Business Schools All Report Declines In Applications

Following up on my previous posts:

Poets & Quants, New M7 Data, Familiar Magnificence:

[T]he M7 — the “Magnificent,” or “Magic,” 7 schools long considered the elite of the elite — ... are ranked in the top 10 in just about every ranking that matters of U.S. schools, and in the top 20 globally. And even as forces beyond the control of the masters of the biz ed universe buffet mid- and lower-tier schools’ MBA programs, the M7 continue to be bastions of strength, in admissions as well as academics. They are talent magnets, and probably always will be.

But even kings have their problems. Looking at the bundle of 2018 school data, amid the usual mountain of superlatives is at least one glaring soft spot that the M7’s deans must puzzle over: a weakening of international interest in attending a U.S. school, which has contributed to a widespread slump in application volume that even the top schools have not escaped. It’s no longer a mystery why it's happening; but even in the rarefied air of the best of the best, the reality of a long-term downturn in the MBA landscape can’t be ignored.



Application Decline


Chicago (Booth)



Penn (Wharton)









MIT (Sloan)



Northwestern (Kellogg)





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January 28, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rather Than Increase 1L Class Size, Some Law Schools Shrink Strategically

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, Rather Than Increasing 1L Class Size in 2018, Some Law Schools Shrunk Strategically:

While 117 law schools this year increased their first-year class sizes, following a growth of more than 8 percent in applications, a few others purposely had fewer 1L students in 2018. 

“When we saw that the applicant pool was much stronger at the top, we set a goal to go up two points for the median LSAT, assuming that most schools would go up one point,” says Melanie Leslie, the dean of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. The first-year class has 334 students, compared to 368 1Ls in 2017. The median undergraduate grade-point average increased, from 3.51 to 3.52, and the median Law School Admissions Test score rose from 159 to 161. ...

Of the 46 law schools that decreased first-year class sizes by 5 percent or greater this year, 31 increased their median LSAT by at least one point, according to the Spivey Consulting Group, which works with law schools and law school applicants. A total of 22 schools increased both their LSAT and undergraduate GPA medians. ...

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January 28, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Eighteen Law Schools Would Fail ABA's Proposed 75% Bar Passage Within 2 Years Accreditation Standard

Following up on my previous posts:

USA Today, Law Schools Where Too Many Graduates Fail the Bar Exam May Face Tougher Sanctions:

Arizona Summit Law School in Phoenix [is] one of 18 U.S. law schools where at least a quarter of graduates who took the bar exam didn't pass within two years, according to a yearlong USA TODAY Network investigation into the schools.

The analysis of data from the American Bar Association shows that the law schools include large state universities, private for-profits and independent colleges enrolling, in all, about 8,000 students, or 7% of U.S. law school students.

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January 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Tax Justice Blossoms At UNLV Law School

UNLV Logo (2016)Tax Justice Blossoms at Boyd Law School:

Since opening its doors in August 2017, the Rosenblum Family Foundation Tax Clinic at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law has provided pro bono “tax justice” to qualifying low-income families and taxpayers for whom English is a second language. The clinic serves all of Nevada and is currently managing nearly 50 client matters, with Boyd students taking the lead on tax matters under faculty supervision.

Partially funded by a federal grant requiring matching funds, the Tax Clinic has been endowed with a generous donation by local attorney/businessman Russell Rosenblum, founding member of RMR Capital Group. Clinic faculty serve Nevadans with ongoing taxpayer education and outreach programs, including an active Twitter account (@UNLVLawLITC) and “Tax Talk Tuesdays,” a commuter radio segment that provides weekly tax tips and traps for the unwary. The segment airs at 8:45 a.m. Tuesdays on UNLV’s station KUNV-FM 91.5, also streaming live at

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January 26, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

The Value Of Legal Writing, Law Review, And Publication

Lawrence J. Trautman (Western Carolina University, College of Business), The Value of Legal Writing, Law Review, and Publication, 51 Ind. L. Rev. 693 (2018):

While highly developed communication skills contribute substantially to success in other professions and in our personal relationships, legal research and writing is likely the foundation for a successful career in the law. Law review articles are cited by judges in their opinions, by Congress and regulatory authorities in the making of law, and regulations and policy. Any great legal orator, litigator, or Supreme Court Justice will need the benefit of quickly recognizing legally significant fact patterns, the ability to conduct research regarding statutory and case law, and the ability to make compelling, cogent legal arguments. The experience gained from legal research and writing sharpens all these tools.

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January 25, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Shutdown Imperils D.C. Bar Exam, Swearing-In Postponed

ShutdownNational Law Journal, Shutdown Imperils DC Bar Exam, Swearing-In Postponed:

Law graduates who expected to sit for the bar exam in the District of Columbia next month are in limbo, awaiting official word on whether the test will take place amid the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The District of Columbia Courts’ Committee on Admissions is closed due to the shutdown, and it warned test takers earlier this month that the exam could also be impacted. In a message on its website, the committee said it was still planning to administer the exam on Feb. 26-27, but that it was “closely monitoring any new developments with the federal government shutdown.” The status of the exam could change, it warned. (The federal government controls the funding for D.C., which has a dispensation to keep essential functions operating amid shutdowns.)

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January 25, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Arizona Summit Law School Drops Its Lawsuit Against The ABA

Arizona Summit Logo (2015)ABA Journal, Arizona Summit Law School Agrees to Drop its Lawsuit Against ABA:

Arizona Summit Law School and the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar settled their federal lawsuit Tuesday, with the order stipulating that the parties agree to cover their own costs and fees from the action....

“InfiLaw Corporation and Arizona Summit Law School have dismissed their lawsuit against the American Bar Association and the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar with prejudice. The ABA and the council welcome the end of this dispute. We look forward to continuing to serve the best interests of law students, the public, and the profession through the ABA law school accreditation process, which has consistently been upheld by courts and has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education,” Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, said in a statement.

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January 24, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

2018 Tax Prof Teachers Of The Year

AALS Teacher of the Year 2
Tax Profs recognized at the AALS annual meeting in New Orleans as Teachers of the Year:

January 24, 2019 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge: Federal Courts Need A 'Rooney Rule' For Law Clerk Hiring

Following up on my previous posts:

National Law Journal op-ed: Why We Should Adopt a Rooney Rule for Law Clerks, by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria:

There’s debate about how successful the Rooney Rule has been. ... But the numbers seem to suggest that the rule was a good idea: Shortly after its adoption the number of minority head coaches began to rise, and it has held relatively steady since. This past season, there were eight minority head coaches, still not good, but an improvement.

When I took the bench around five years ago, I was struck by how many law clerks are white and from privileged backgrounds. This is to the detriment of the legal profession (in which people from all walks of life should have a chance to rise to the top) and the judiciary (which benefits from having people with different perspectives involved in the decision-making process). I thus adopted my own version of the Rooney Rule: I will not fill a law clerk slot until I’ve interviewed at least one minority candidate and at least one candidate from a non-“T-14” law school (since those schools tend to have more students from less-privileged backgrounds). ...

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January 24, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA To Again Consider 75% Within 2 Years Bar Passage Accreditation Standard Opposed By Diversity Advocates, Some California Law Schools

ABA Logo (2016), ABA to Reconsider Proposal to Tighten Bar Exam Pass Standards:

The second time could be the charm for pushing through a stronger bar pass standard for law schools.

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates on Monday will consider a proposal to bolster the existing rule, requiring at least 75 percent of a school’s graduates to pass the bar within two years of leaving campus or risk losing accreditation. The House rejected the same proposal in February 2017 amid concern from diversity advocates who said it could imperil schools with a large percentage of minority students, especially at a time when pass rates across the country have plummeted.

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January 24, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Requirement That Women Constitute 40% Of Faculty Search Committees Resulted In 38% Reduction In Female Hires

Inside Higher Ed, Male Backlash Blamed for Failure of French Effort on Hiring Female Academics:

The introduction of quotas to get more women onto university recruitment committees in France has backfired and has actually led to far fewer female academics being hired, new research has revealed.

A male backlash against the equity measures is the most likely reason for the decline in female recruitment, according to analysis by Pierre Deschamps, an economist at Sciences Po, in Paris [Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: A Boon or a Bane for Women?].

He investigated recruitment data from 455 hiring committees across three French universities in the years before and after the introduction of the requirement for recruitment committees to draw at least 40 percent of their membership from each gender.

’ modeling indicates that, had the quotas not been introduced, 38 percent more women would have been hired. “That’s enormous,” he said.


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January 23, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

2018 Law School Teachers Of The Year

It was great to see four of my colleagues (Trey Childress, Steve SchultzVictoria Schwartz, and Peter Wendel) recognized at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans as 2018 Teachers of the Year:

AALS Teacher of the Year

January 23, 2019 in Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Should Law Schools Respond To Student Failure?

Elizabeth Ruiz Frost (Oregon), Failure Begets Failure: An Examination of Failure and How Law Schools Ought to Respond, 48 Stetson L. Rev. 33 (2018):

Students, of course, fail for many reasons. Some students fail because of an external disruption, such as a family emergency, that keeps the student from completing his coursework. For those students, perhaps the most reasonable course of action is, in fact, to simply redo the course once the external disruption has been resolved. The focus of this Article, however, is on those students who fail due to lack of academic knowledge or skill.

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January 23, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Life After Tenure

ASUArizona State is hosting a conference on Tenure! Now What? on March 30:

In the legal academy, as in other disciplines, tenure is the most important goal of aspiring and junior professors. Yet we as a profession never talk about what happens after tenure. This conference seeks to fill that void. We want to initiate a conversation about life after tenure.

We have assembled an impressive group of panelists who will discuss service, scholarship, and teaching. The conference will conclude with a workshop for participants to create a personalized plan for their career. The conference is free and all are welcome.

The conference has sparked a fascinating Twitter thread #LifeAfterTenure. Participants include:

January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Anderson: Law School GPA Is A Much Better Predictor Of Bar Passage Than LSAT Or UGPA

Following up on my previous post, Deans, Law Profs Weigh In On The California Bar Exam:  Robert Anderson (Pepperdine), Analysis of the California Bar Examination Report, Part 2:

Today's installment presents one of the most interesting charts in the [California State Bar] report, one that everyone connected with legal education should understand. Figure 2.3, pictured below, shows the relationship between LSAT, undergraduate GPA (UGPA), first year law school GPA (FYGPA), cumulative law school GPA (LSGPA), and bar exam scores. The data is derived from a large number of California law graduates for 2013, 2016, and 2017. ...


The first point to note is one that is fairly well known among those who study bar performance, which is that law school GPA (whether first year or cumulative) is much more predictive of bar performance than incoming predictors like UGPA or LSAT. For example, in 2013 the correlation of FYGPA to bar score was .582 and the correlation of LSGPA to bar score was .640, compared to LSAT's .424 and UGPA's .212.

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January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

26% Of Law Students Pay Full Tuition, Down From 53% In 2011

Matt Leichter, 2017: Full-Time Law Students Paying Full Tuition *Rises* by 0.4 Percentage Points:

At the average law school not in Puerto Rico in 2017, the proportion of full-time students paying full tuition rose by 0.4 percentage points from 25.4 percent to 25.8 percent. At the median law school less than one quarter of students pay full tuition.

Leichter 1A

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January 22, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, January 21, 2019

Spring 2019 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Spring 2019 submission season covering 202 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

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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Cincinnati Hosts Nation’s First 1L Diversity Case Competition To Boost Law Firm Hiring Of Students Of Color

Cincinnati Logo (2019)Cincinnati Hosts Nation’s First, Only Law Student Diversity Case Competition:

When law firm hiring systems are overly dependent on grades and class rank, employers have a limited view of the diverse talent readily available.

Finding new ways to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession is one of the reasons Cincinnati Law and local law firm Keating Muething & Klekamp partnered to create the nation’s first and only Law Student Diversity Case Competition, to be held Jan. 18-19 at KMK’s Cincinnati headquarters.  

The competition, which brings the case model to the law school arena, is the brainchild of Mina Jones Jefferson, associate dean, chief of staff, and director of the Center for Professional Development at Cincinnati Law, and will bring together 14 teams from seven law schools.

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January 20, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Ex-Charlotte Law Students Get $2.7 Million Settlement, Despite Objectors

Charlotte Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):, Ex-Charlotte Law Students Get $2.7 Million Settlement, Despite Objectors:

A federal judge approved a $2.65 million class action settlement between the now-closed Charlotte School of Law and former students, over the objections of some plaintiffs who said that amount is far too low.

Judge Graham Mullen of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina signed off on the settlement Jan. 16 following a two-day hearing, potentially ending two years of litigation over Charlotte School of Law’s slow demise.

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January 19, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)