Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Fifteen Law Schools Are Looking To Hire Tax Profs

Law schools looking to hire tenure-track/tenured Tax Profs to start in the 2021-22 academic year:

January 12, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

University Of Texas Law School Seeks To Dismiss Sex Discrimination Complaint, Says Linda Mullenix Has 'Bruised Ego'

Following up on my previous post, Linda Mullenix Files Federal Lawsuit Against University Of Texas Law School Alleging Sex Discrimination, Retaliation, And Violation Of Equal Pay Act:  Texas Lawyer, UT Austin Argues for Dismissal, Saying Female Law Professor Has 'Bruised Ego':

MullenixThe University of Texas at Austin argues that law professor Linda Mullenix, who sued for pay discrimination, has a “higher opinion of her work than her colleagues do” and does not have enough evidence the law school retaliated against her.

Much of Mullenix’s retaliation allegations “fall into the category of bruised ego” rather than actionable retaliation, the university claimed. The school argued that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin should, for a second time, dismiss a retaliation claim in the law professor’s sex discrimination lawsuit.

Mullenix has alleged that she’s a distinguished law professor but she was paid more than $134,000 less from 2017 to 2019 than a male law professor with similar teacher evaluations ratings but nearly a decade less experience, fewer publications and fewer honors. She claimed that because she opposed unequal pay practices, the school retaliated by giving her low raises, putting her on insignificant committees and marginalizing her. ...

The university argued in a motion to dismiss that Mullenix has gotten raises consistently and her current salary is more than $337,000.

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January 12, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, January 11, 2021

2021 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Tannenwald (2013)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2021 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition:

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate. Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

Prizes:

  • 1st Place:  $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place:  $1,500

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January 11, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Dayton Seeks To Hire A Tax Prof

University of Dayton School of Law:

Dayton LogoThe University of Dayton School of Law invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position to begin August 16, 2021. Areas of particular need include contracts, secured transactions, business organizations, property, wills and trusts, and/or tax.

Applicants must have a J.D. or the equivalent degree from a foreign institution.

While not everyone may possess all the preferred qualifications, the ideal candidate will bring many of the following:

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January 11, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

2021 Princeton Review Law School Rankings: Admissions Selectivity

Princeton ReviewI previously blogged the lists of the Top 5 law schools in fourteen categories in the 2021 edition of the Princeton Review's Best Law Schools. In a series of posts this week, I will highlight the Top 50 schools in the five categories for which the Princeton Review provides individual law school data:

Admissions Selectivity:  This rating measures the competitiveness of admissions at each law school on a scale of 60–99. Factors taken into consideration include the median LSAT score and undergraduate GPA of entering 1L students, the percentage of applicants who are accepted, and the percentage of applicants who are accepted and ultimately enroll. 

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January 11, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Appeals Court Explains Decision To Deny Bail For Katherine Magbanua As She Awaits Trial In Dan Markel's Murder

Tallahassee Democrat, Appeals Court Judges Explain Bail Denial For Dan Markel Murder Suspect Katherine Magbanua:

Magnauba (2021)Appeals court judges in Tallahassee on Thursday explained their denial of a request by accused Dan Markel murder suspect Katherine Magbanua to be released on bail.

In a 9-page opinion, 1st District Court of Appeal judges Lori Rowe, Joseph Lewis and Ross Bilbrey bolstered their December decision for Magbanua to continue to be held in the Leon County Detention Facility until trial.

Magbanua has sought several times to be released but her attorneys have been rebuffed by two different circuit judges who say there is enough evidence to hold her until trial. She was already on trial once in Markel's death, but the jury deadlocked. ...

Magbanua, 36, is the only one of three suspects in Markel's July 2014 killing whose case has not been disposed.

WCTV, Katherine Magbanua to Remain Behind Bars, Appeals Court Says:

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January 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Thirty Wealthy Colleges And Universities Are Targeted In Covid Relief Act

Inside Higher Ed, Wealthier Colleges and Universities Are Targeted In Covid Relief Bill:

After President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticized giving private colleges and universities with large endowments help in the CARES Act, wealthier institutions like Harvard, Yale and Stanford Universities had their share of the money in the latest coronavirus relief package cut in half.

Under a little-noticed provision in the bill passed two weeks ago [The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021], private higher education institutions that were required by a 2017 law to pay a 1.4 percent excise tax on net investment income not only had their aid slashed, they were barred from using the money they will get to defray their financial losses from the pandemic. The relief bill allows them only to use the aid on emergency grants to students or to pay for personal protective equipment and other health and safety costs associated with the coronavirus. Higher education received about $23 billion in the legislation.

The provision affects about 30 private colleges and universities who have to pay the tax because they have at least 500 tuition-paying students and assets of at least $500,000 per student, said Steven Bloom, the American Council on Education’s government relations director. However, that number is constantly changing, particularly during the economic fallout of the pandemic, as the value of the endowments fluctuates over and under the threshold.

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January 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Will Paper Bar Exams Become A Thing Of The Past?

ABA Journal, Will Paper Bar Exams Become a Thing of the Past?:

While there’s significant disagreement on how the bar exam should change, many believe it will, and there’s a wide range of ideas about what should happen.

So far, suggestions for change include breaking the test into smaller segments and administering part of it in law school; replacing essay questions with performance tests; and doing away with the licensing exam entirely. ...

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January 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Dozens Of Kind Deeds Follow Harvard 2L's Suicide On New Year's Eve

Following up on my previous post, Statement Of Congressman Raskin And His Wife On Their Son Tommy, A Harvard 2L, Who Took His Own Life On New Year's Eve:  Washington Post, ‘One Small Act of Compassion in Tommy’s Honor’: Kind Deeds Follow the Death of Rep. Raskin’s Son:

Raskin 3When Thomas “Tommy” Raskin died at 25 years old on New Year’s Eve, he left a farewell message for his family, including his parents, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin:

“Please forgive me. My illness won today,” Tommy wrote, according to a poignant tribute written by his parents. “Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.”

Although Tommy’s note was intended for his family, the broader community is now heeding his words.

More than 175 people from the D.C. area and beyond have signed up so far to fulfill Tommy’s final wish by doing good deeds, large and small, in his name. People are adding the deeds to a Google document, along with their names and where they live.

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January 10, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, January 9, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

California Bar Exam Pass Rate Is Highest In 12 Years, Due To Lower Cut Score; Supreme Court May Grant Licenses To 2,000 Applicants Who Failed Exams Since July 2015 And Scored 1390 Or Higher

California State Bar (2019)The California State Bar has released the results from the October 2020 online bar exam. The overall pass rate was 60.7%, up 10.6 percentage points from last year's July exam. For California ABA-accredited law schools, the pass rate for first time test-takers was 84%, up 12.7 percentage points from 2019. The was the first exam graded under the new cut score of 1390, reduced from 1440 by the California Supreme Court on July 16, 2020.

State Bar of California Releases Results of October 2020 Bar Exam:

Today the State Bar released results of the October 2020 California Bar Exam and announced that 5,292 people (60.7 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam. If those who passed satisfy all other requirements for admission, they will be eligible to be licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California. The October 2020 General Bar Exam pass rate is the highest in more than a decade, since July 2008.

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January 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

AALS Hosts Virtual Panel Today On New Voices In Taxation

The AALS Tax Section hosts a Zoom panel today on New Voices in Taxation at 4:15 pm ET:

AALS (2018)This program gives junior tax scholars an opportunity to receive useful feedback on their work from senior reviewers before submitting the work for publication.

Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) (moderator)

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington), Taxation and the Law-and-Political-Economy Project (with Ari Glogower (Ohio State), Ariel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego) & Clinton Wallace (South Carolina)
Commentator:  Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation & Northwestern)

Jonathan Choi (Minnesota), Legal Analysis, Policy Analysis, and the Price of Deference: An Empirical Study of Mayo and Chevron
Commentator, Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)

Hayes Holderness (Richmond), Insidious Regulatory Taxes
Commentator:  Beth Colgan (UCLA)

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January 9, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, January 8, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

ABA Tax Section Women's Tax Forum Hosts Zoom Tea Today With Alice Abreu

The ABA Tax Section Women's Tax Forum is hosting a Zoom Tea today with Alice Abreu (Temple) at 4:30 PM ET:

ABA Tax Section Women in TaxTake a 30-minute tea break with us as we chat on Zoom video with leading women tax lawyers from a variety of fields who share stories of success and struggle as we explore individual paths to professional and personal fulfillment.

We're thrilled to announce Alice Abreu is joining us this Friday! Alice is a Professor of Law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, where she teaches courses in Taxation, Corporate Taxation, International Taxation, and Low Income Taxpayer Policy and Practice and is serving as the inaugural Director of Temple's Center for Tax Law and Public Policy.

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January 8, 2021 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Students Of Color Are Driving A Spike In Law School Applications

Reuters, Students of Color Are Driving a Spike in Law School Applications:

For many in the U.S., and especially students of color, one answer to the calamities of 2020 has been to apply to law school. Law schools in the U.S. are reporting an unprecedented surge in applicants, with a 33% increase for the fall 2021 cycle compared with the previous year, according to recent figures. The trend among Black applicants is even stronger, with applications up 39%.

There were 31,486 law school applicants in the United States in the year ending Dec. 22, compared with 23,614 the year before, according to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and compiles data on the application and admissions process. LSAC publishes updated applicant data on its web site every day. "I've never seen anything like this," said Andrew Cornblatt, dean of admissions at Georgetown Law School, where applications were up about 60% year-over-year as of December.

Paul Caron, the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law dean and a regular analyst of law school application data, said last week that Pepperdine has seen a 54% increase in applicants for fall 2021, following a record set the previous year. The number of Black applicants has doubled over the previous year, he said.

Cornblatt, Caron and other experts attribute the overall increases and the spike in applications by minority students to several forces, including the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy, the killings by police of George Floyd and other black men in the U.S., the 2020 presidential election, and social media. ...

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January 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

AALS Hosts Virtual Panel Today On Tax Law In An Age Of COVID

The AALS Tax Section hosts a Zoom panel today on Tax Law in an Age of COVID at 1:15 pm ET:

AALS (2018)In the wake of COVID-19, Congress rushed to use the tax policy and the administrative resources of the IRS to deliver economic benefits to individuals and firms, but it also used this must-pass legislation to enact long-sought tax measures. This panel will consider federal tax policy's role in this unprecedented economic contraction and in the fiscal crisis confronting state and local governments.

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January 8, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

Muller: Law School-Specific Debt Disparities Between Men And Women

Following up on my previous post, Law Schools With The Best And Worst Debt-To-Income Ratios Among Recent Graduates:  Derek Muller (Iowa), Some Data on Law School-Specific Debt Load Disparities Between Men and Women:

The ever-valuable LSSSE data recently noted that women tend to graduate from law school with higher debt loads than men. The ABA has tracked this, too. On the heels of recent Department of Education data disclosures, however, we can drill down on law school-specific figures. ...

I looked at mean debt data for males and non-males. (That’s how the DOE codes the data—I assume the vast majority of non-males are females, but it could include non-binary individuals, and I’ll formally use the DOE coding.) Unsurprisingly (given the aggregate figures from LSSSE & ABA, among others), there are more schools where the mean debt loads for non-males are greater than the mean debt loads for males. At about half the schools, the debt ratios are close to parity—of the 208 schools in my data set, about 100 have a mean debt load of less than a $5000 difference between the sexes.

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January 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Making Public Interest Lawyers In A Time Of Crisis

Catherine Albiston (UC-Berkeley), Scott L. Cummings (UCLA) & Richard L. Abel (UCLA), Making Public Interest Lawyers In A Time Of Crisis: An Evidence-Based Approach, 34 Geo. J. Legal Ethics ___ (2021):

Now is a critical time to consider the role that lawyers—and the law schools that produce them—can play in movements for social transformation. Over the past half-century, public interest lawyers who represent subordinated communities in the pursuit of equal justice have contributed significantly to such movements: mobilizing law to fight discrimination, expand access to social benefits, promote the inclusion of immigrants and others branded outsiders, and protect the rights of low-wage workers and the unhoused. While some law schools have invested resources to train students seeking public interest careers, most continue to focus on placing students in lucrative law firms: elevating a neoliberal conception of legal education that seeks to maximize return on investment, rather than promoting the professional role of lawyers in democratic society. Even those law schools dedicated to helping students enter public interest careers lack basic information about which interventions are most likely to work. This Article fills that critical information gap by providing the first systematic empirical evidence about what law schools can do to help students build long-term public interest careers.

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January 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Exposing The Pervasiveness Of Implicit Bias And White Privilege In Legal Pedagogy

Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn) & Liyun Zhang (South Carolina), Of Socratic Teaching and Learning Styles: Exposing the Pervasiveness of Implicit Bias and White Privilege in Legal Pedagogy, 18 Hastings J. Race & L. ___ (2020):

Legal educators who deny the efficacy of utilizing learning style theory inaccurately support their dismissal through misunderstanding and misrepresenting the science supporting such techniques. These erroneous conclusions are often the result of implicit bias and dysconscious racism favoring dominant white male norms and privileges. Such denial is not only disingenuous and inaccurate, but also highly detrimental to legal education, perpetuating a system that discourages and devalues the contributions and efforts of minority students.

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January 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Over 1,000 New Lawyers Get Licenses Without Taking Bar Exam

Bloomberg, Over 1,000 New Lawyers Get Licenses Without Taking Bar Exam:

More than 1,000 recent law school graduates so far have opted to become licensed to practice without taking a bar exam, through emergency programs enacted in four states and Washington, D.C., state data shows. Indifference to the test from at least some firms like Davis Wright Tremaine, their insurers, and other employers could help the push to make temporary diploma privilege programs permanent.

Advocates say programs in Utah, Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. set an important precedent, even though the programs are designed to phase out in 2021.

Bloomberg

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January 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tax Prof AALS Teachers Of The Year

AALS, Teachers of the Year:

AALS (2018)AALS Teachers of the Year are exceptional faculty members nominated by their peers for their excellence in teaching and contributions to their law schools.

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January 7, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

'Business as Usual Doesn’t Work': Inside Big Law’s Reckoning on Race

Law.com, 'Business as Usual Doesn’t Work': Inside Big Law’s Reckoning on Race:

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black men and women in 2020 sparked new conversations about race and inequity across the legal profession.

This Legal Speak podcast examines whether the renewed commitments from major law firms to improve diversity and inclusion are gaining traction and leading to meaningful change.

To explore the issue, Legal Speak co-host Vanessa Blum checks in with diversity leaders at three Am Law 200 law firms. They describe the past few months as a reckoning that has led to challenging conversations about race within their organizations and that has created a new urgency around their work.

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January 7, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Legal Ed Has Risen To Meet COVID Challenges, Says Incoming AALS President

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Legal Ed Has Risen to Meet COVID Challenges, Says Incoming AALS President:

RougeauThe Association of American Law Schools’ annual meeting is taking place this week, but thousands of law professors aren’t roaming the halls of the Hilton San Francisco as planned.

Like so many aspects of legal education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest annual law school gathering has gone virtual with a five-day slate of online programs. It’s the first time the annual meeting hasn’t taken place in-person, but there’s a silver lining to the upheaval. About 4,500 people have registered for the event—an attendance record.

Law.com caught up with incoming AALS President and Boston College Law Dean Vincent Rougeau to discuss the new format for the virtual meeting; how legal education is meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic, and what changes are likely to remain after COVID-19 subsides. His answers have been edited for length.

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January 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Historians' Statement On Congressional Certification Of The 2020 Presidential Election

Ed Larson, Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and University Professor of History at Pepperdine, joined with over twenty other noted historians in this Historians' Statement on Congressional Certification of the 2020 Presidential Election:

As historians and constitutional scholars as well as citizens, we deplore the effort to disrupt Congressional certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Never before in our history has a president who lost re-election tried to stay in office by subverting the democratic process set down by the Constitution. That is what President Trump has been doing since November 3, when a strong electoral majority of Americans chose Joseph R. Biden to be the 46th President of the United States.

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January 6, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top 10 Legal Education Posts Of 2020

TaxProf Blog 2020 Traffic Data

2020 was TaxProf Blog's biggest year to-date, with 22.3 million pages views, a 15.2% increase over last year (and a 33.4% increase in new users):

TrafficMy top demographic is ages 25-34:

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January 6, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Symposium: Disrupting Hierarchies In Legal Education

Temple Symposium, Disrupting Hierarchies In Legal Education: The Abraham L. Freedman Fellowship Program, 92 Temple L. Rev. 707-835 (2020): 

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January 5, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Kuehn: The Disparate Treatment Of Clinical Law Faculty

Kuehn (2019)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  The Disparate Treatment of Clinical Law Faculty, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

In her recent presidential message, Abolish the Academic Caste System, the president of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) called on law schools to address the caste system within law faculties by providing parity in security of positon and salary to non-tenure/tenure track faculty, such as the overwhelming majority of law clinic and externship instructors.[1] Data from the just completed Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) 2019-20 Survey of Applied Legal Education of  95% of law schools and 1,300 law clinic and externship instructors show widespread disparate treatment of clinical instructors (i.e., law clinic and externship instructors) and a lack of progress in providing parity between those who teach in law clinics and externships and those teaching doctrinal courses.[2]

In 1998, 46% of clinical teachers were in tenure or tenure-track positions.[3] Yet as the chart below indicates, the percentage of clinical faculty in tenure/tenure track positions, even when including lesser status clinical/programmatic tenure positions, has declined to just 29%, and decreased by more than 30% over just the last 12 years (temporary appointment clinical fellows excluded from all tables).

Kuehn 1

Though there have been notable exceptions at a few schools, law clinic and externship hiring has disproportionately been for contract positions since the 2010 downturn in law school applications and accompanying financial challenges.

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January 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

NCBE: The Next Generation Of The Bar Exam

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Bar Exam Overhaul Plans Go Public. So Long, MBE:

The bar exam as we know it looks to be on the way out.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners on Monday unveiled preliminary recommendations for a revamped test that would replace the existing three components—the Multistate Bar Exam, the Multistate Essay Exam and the Multistate Performance Test—with a more integrated approach that emphasizes legal skills over an expansive knowledge of the law.

National Conference of Bar Examiners Testing Task Force, Overview of Preliminary Recommendations for the Next Generation of the Bar Examination:

NCBE 1Best practices for high-stakes licensure examinations include periodic review of exam content and design. Consistent with that standard, the Testing Task Force undertook a three-year, comprehensive, empirical study to ensure that the bar examination continues to assess the minimum competencies required of newly licensed lawyers in an evolving legal profession, and to determine how those competencies should be assessed. This overview sets out the Task Force’s preliminary recommendations for the next generation of the bar examination; the overview is brief by design and intended to help facilitate discussion with stakeholders at webinars scheduled in early January. After the webinars, the Task Force will finalize the recommendations for submission to NCBE’s Board of Trustees. Upon approval by the Board, we will issue a final report detailing the decisions reached and providing a general timeframe and process for implementation. A tremendous amount of work will be required to implement the recommendations and transition to administration of the new examination. At the end of this overview, we list some of the steps involved in implementation, a process that is anticipated to take up to four to five years.

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January 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Statement Of Congressman Raskin And His Wife On Their Son Tommy, A Harvard 2L, Who Took His Own Life On New Year's Eve

Statement of Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin on the Remarkable Life of Tommy Raskin:

TommyWe have barely been able to scratch the surface here, but you have a sense of our son. Tommy Raskin had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind. He began to be tortured later in his 20s by a blindingly painful and merciless ‘disease called depression,’ as Tabitha put it on Facebook over the weekend, a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him, and despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy, this young man of surpassing promise to our broken world.

On the last hellish brutal day of that godawful miserable year of 2020, when hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people all over the world died alone in bed in the darkness from an invisible killer disease ravaging their bodies and minds, we also lost our dear, dear, beloved son, Hannah and Tabitha’s beloved irreplaceable brother, a radiant light in this broken world.

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January 5, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, January 4, 2021

Colleges Have Shed 550,000 Employees Since The Pandemic Began

Following up on my previous post, Colleges Have Shed 10% Of Their Employees Since The Pandemic BeganDan Bauman (Chronicle of Higher Education):

Colleges Shed Employees

January 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

90% Of Suspected Cheaters On October Exam Are Cleared By California Bar; Applicants Under Review Can Register For February Exam

Following up on my previous post, California Bar Flags Over 3,000 Applicants For Video Review Of Their October Online Exams; Deans Request That Applicants Be Permitted To Sit For February Exam As They Await Resolution:

Bloomberg Law, Ninety Percent of Suspected Cheaters Cleared by California Bar:

California State Bar (2019)The list of test takers suspected of cheating on California’s first-ever online bar exam has been narrowed to a fraction of the more than 3,000 initially flagged by video technology that monitored them during the test. ...

The additional notifications mean nearly 90% of the 3,190 applicants initially flagged for possible cheating on the October exam — about one-third of all those who sat for it — have now been cleared. The dramatic drop comes as states are finishing plans for administering the next round of bar exams, slated for late February. It also follows criticisms of the tests, which a number of states moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, over allegations of cheating as well as glitches in facial recognition software and other technology.

The threat of being branded a cheater, even if they’re ultimately cleared, adds to the burdens faced by test takers who were forced to prepare for the exam in the middle of the pandemic. ...

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January 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Reading The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Tea Leaves: 10%-30% Applicant Increase, Higher LSAT-Flex Exam Scores

Following up on my previous post, 40% Through the Fall 2021 Admissions Season: Applicants Are Up 31%, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands And Applicants Of Color: Mike Spivey, 2020/2021 Law School Applicant Data Look:

LSAT ApplicantsOn three out of every four days this year LSAT applicants have outpaced where they were last year; at no point this cycle has LSAT applicant volume dipped below last. It's ranged from as "low" as a 27% increase to as high as a 41% increase.

The last couple weeks have seen a decline in the relative increase — going from an almost 40% increase in mid-December to the current 29% increase. That was to be expected given LSAT score release timing. ... 

[W]e don't have an especially large increase in LSAT takers this year to fuel the increase in applicants. So far there are 56,151 first time test takers this cycle, compared to 55,163 at this time last cycle — a measly thousand-person increase. That presents us with two questions: what's fueling the increase in total applicants, and what's fueling the disproportionate increase in high-scoring applicants? ...

A likelier explanation is that we're just yielding more applicants from the test-taker pool. That makes sense in the current environment, i.e. the economy. It's normal for people to try to ride out a challenging labor market in graduate school (applications to business and medical school are also up significantly). People taking the LSAT this year are likely more serious about attending law school — if only because they lack better options.

175+The other issue is that the highest scoring applicants are disproportionately up beyond any explanation related to how early they might apply. Fortunately, we do have something of an explanation now: LSAC has confirmed that individuals taking the LSAT-Flex exam are receiving higher scores than LSAT-takers were last year (and for what it's worth, test-takers last year were doing noticeably better than the years before it — so we're getting inflated scores on top of already inflated scores). That means we have a much larger pool of higher scoring applicants to draw from, which is being reflected in the absurd increases in those applicants. ...

LSAC recently shifted their language from predicting a 10% increase to a 10-20% increase, which we think is more realistic — and if applicants apply in the same pattern they did last year, that increase could be 25-30%. ...

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January 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

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January 4, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Muller: Law Schools With The Best And Worst Debt-To-Income Ratios Among Recent Graduates

Following upon my previous posts (links below):  Derek Muller (Iowa), Which Law Schools Have the Best and Worst Debt-to-Income Ratios Among Recent Graduates?:

Last year, a treasure trove of data from the Department of Education offered incredible insights into debt and earnings of law school graduates. A recent update for 2018-2019 has been made available, and we can look at the data again.

One intriguing figure is the “debt-to-income” ratio (last year, plenty of people hated this term, but I’m still using it), or how much student debt recent graduates have compared to their earnings. ... A good rule of thumb might be that “manageable” debt loads are those where debt is about equal to expected income at graduation—i.e., a ratio of 1.00 or lower. Only 22 schools meet that definition among median debt and earnings. ...

Muller

In contrast,  17 law schools have debt-to-income ratios greater than 3.0.

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January 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

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January 4, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, January 3, 2021

COVID-19 Dashboard Rankings Of 349 Colleges

COVID-19 College Dashboard Rankings:

College Dashboard 2

Inside Higher Ed, Ranking College Dashboards:

[W]hile COVID-19 dashboards are now ubiquitous, they are not created equal.

That’s why Howard Forman and Cary Gross, both professors at Yale University College of Medicine, started We Rate COVID Dashboards, a project to evaluate and assess how well higher ed is communicating about spread on campus. The project, which is both a website and a Twitter account, assigns a letter grade to dashboards based on a rubric of nine criteria. Are the cases separated into students and staff? Is it updated every weekday?

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January 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: Brooklyn Law Prof And Retired Doctor Find Love In Their 70's Through Yale Alumni Magazine Personal Ad

New York Times, A Soft Spot for Yalies:

Yale Alumni Magazine 2Elizabeth M. Schneider always had a soft spot for Yalies — her father and son went there — and she could belt out Bulldog football team fight songs and the “Bright College Years” unofficial alma mater with the best of them.

So, she decided to place a personal ad in the Yale Alumni Magazine, inspired by her ties to the school and her upcoming 50th reunion from Bryn Mawr, from which she graduated cum laude. (She would have applied to Yale if women were accepted in 1964).

“College alumni magazines are very, very enthusiastic about personal ads,” said Professor Schneider, 72.

Benjamin Liptzin, 75, who graduated magna cum laude from Yale, noticed the ad in the November 2017 alumni issue, but he didn’t respond until six months later. He had been caring for his wife Sharon of 50 years, who had Alzheimer’s.

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January 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, January 2, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

70% Of Law Schools Give Scholarships To At Least 70% Of Their Students; 28% Give Scholarships To At Least 90% Of Their Students

Mike Spivey (Spivey Consulting):

Spivey

January 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NPR: Diversifying The Legal Profession Starts Before The LSAT

Marisa Manzi & Nina Totenberg (NPR), 'Already Behind': Diversifying The Legal Profession Starts Before The LSAT:

NPR LogoA number of groups are focusing on "the pipeline" to law school as a way to diversify the legal profession overall.

A 2015 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the law was the least racially diverse profession in the country, and it remains among the top.

That's not all. As of 2020, the American Bar Association reported that 86% of all lawyers were non-Hispanic whites. To put that in context, while African Americans make up 13.4% of the U.S. population, they make up only 5% of all lawyers. And amazingly, that percentage has not budged in 10 years. ...

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January 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, January 1, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup: Best Legal Education Articles Of 2020

Here is my annual list of the best legal education articles of the previous year.  If you have any favorites you would like to add, please feel free to use the comments.

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January 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink

Home For The Holidays

January 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

The First Sunrise Of 2021

The first sunrise of 2021 in Malibu.
This is the [year] the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Sunrise 2

January 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

My New Year's Wish For 2021

This was my final time in my office in 2020:

Office 2020

My New Year's wish for 2021 is that I get to spend much more time in my office in 2021 (without my mask, but with my dog).

January 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2019-20 ABA Section Of Legal Education And Admissions To The Bar Annual Report: The Year in Review

American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 2019-2020 Annual Report: The Year in Review:

ABA ReportFrom The Managing Director (William E. Adams, Jr.):

2019-2020 was both a transitional year and one with unprecedented challenges for the Council and the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The Council continued to implement the new committee structure in assuming the work of the now-eliminated Accreditation and Standards Review Committees. The staff worked on new forms and processes to provide support to the Council with its increased workload. The results demonstrate that the Council can handle all of the accreditation work and by doing so, have a more streamlined and efficient accreditation process that benefits the schools and the public.

Transitions also have occurred in the office. Barry Currier stepped away from the Managing Director Role in April. After a national search, Accreditation Counsel Stephanie Giggetts was selected to assume the Deputy Managing Director position. After another national search, Manager of Law School Analytics, Dr. Kirsten Winek, was selected to assume the Accreditation Counsel position. Pursuant to another national search, Molly Wilensky has accepted the Manager of Law School Analytics position. Molly will join the office having previously served as Career Services Director at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School.

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December 31, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Update: Applicants Are Up 31%, With Biggest Increase Among The Highest LSAT Bands

As we close out 2020, we are now 40% of the way through Fall 2021 law school admissions season. The number of law school applicants reported by LSAC is up 31.1% (a 7.2 percentage point drop in less than two weeks).

LSAC 1

Applicants are up the most in New England (41.7%), Midwest (38.1%), and Far West (34.9%); and up the least in the South Central (28.2%), Northwest (28.7%), and Southeast (29.8%)

LSAC 2

Applicants' LSAT scores are up 65.3% in the 170-180 band, 31.6% in the 160-169 band, 22.0% in the 150-159 band, and 15.0% in the 120-149 band:

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December 31, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Leadership Lessons When A Crisis Hits Close To Home

Wall Street Journal:  After Covid Took His Father, a Hospital Boss Leans on His Wisdom, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassFor many leaders, the Great Pandemic of 2020 has been the mother of all anomalies: a blur of bizarre, impossible and potentially defining decisions, often made in a hurry with no practical frame of reference.

Judging from his 35-page resume, Dr. Slonim, [CEO of Renown Health, a regional hospital network based in Reno,] might seem like the rare exception. Before coming to Renown in 2014, he’d practiced medicine for many years and earned a nursing degree and a doctorate in public health. He’d also taught medicine and written more than 60 peer-reviewed articles. It’s unclear how he could have been more prepared to tackle the pandemic.

Long story short: No amount of training could have prepared him. ...

In late February, after the novel coronavirus arrived in the U.S., Dr. Slonim began gathering his team to monitor data and make contingency plans. ... In March, with the virus still confined to coastal hot spots, he faced his first difficult decision: whether to spend $11 million to convert a hospital parking garage into an overflow ward with hundreds of beds. ...

To make the call, Dr. Slonim had to dig down to something fundamental: the reason he’d wanted to be a doctor in the first place. As a physician-CEO, he says: “When you know the calculus could be life or death, the financial calculus is really subordinate to that. Human life comes first.”

With construction under way, Dr. Slonim’s next dilemma arrived, and there was nothing hypothetical about it. In a predawn phone call, his 79-year-old father in New Jersey told him he was short of breath. Two days later, he was diagnosed with Covid-19. ... [A]s his father deteriorated, he felt deeply torn between a son’s impulse to jump in the car immediately and drive east, and a leader’s instinct to stay put. His medical training and personal library of leadership books offered little guidance.

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