Paul L. Caron

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Asserting Our American Christian And Classical Heritage: A Summer Of Reading On The Constitution

Matthew G. Andersson (B.A. Texas; MBA Chicago), Asserting Our American Christian and Classical Heritage, A Summer of Reading on the Constitution:

Order in the new republic was impossible without law, but law impossible without morality, and morality was impossible without religion. For early American jurists and scholars, in an attitude quite foreign to us now, the common law was of “obligation indispensable” and of “origin divine.” Indeed, to one United States Supreme Court Associate Justice, Joseph Story, it was the duty of the American government to promote the Christian religion, to aid in the salvation of American citizens.
—Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus, Northwestern University School of Law

It is impossible for those who believe in the truth of Christianity as a Divine revelation, to doubt that it is the especial duty of government to foster and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects.
—Joseph Story, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, Dane Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States 260 (1840)

In the beautiful summer months of America, many of us make a stack of books that we meant to get to during the rest of the year. ...  [W]e have some peace and solitude, to read, contemplate, and enjoy some great books.  I’ve read several in the subjects of American constitutional law and history, and thought I would share with you, some of these books, and most importantly, what messages they contain about our great Nation, and the traditions we should be proud of, along with some challenges, and risks, that we will have to confront. ... 

Over this Summer I’ve read many books in law, as part of a larger law book project that I’ve undertaken. A few of these (out of dozens) have struck me as especially poignant, if inspirational (and a few cautionary) and I’d like to share some of them with you, in a brief discussion concerning the philosophical basis of our country, which in my view needs continuous refreshing and remembrance, but more, a continuous effort in understanding, and an effort that results in personal “ownership” of American principles that invite us to strive for higher order functioning among ourselves, independently, and as a group, seeking a more unitary, rather than divisive, culture. ...

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September 5, 2021 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The Young And Secular Are Least Vaccinated, Not Evangelicals

Religion Unplugged, The Young And Secular Are Least Vaccinated, Not Evangelicals:

As the delta variant has caused COVID-19 to surge again in the United States, there’s been a flurry of attention paid to the share of Americans who have chosen to forgo the vaccine against the coronavirus. Trying to understand the causal factors that would lead to one not getting the inoculation seems to be the first task when it comes to finding ways to reduce vaccine hesitancy coast to coast.

One of the primary dimensions that news outlets seem to be focusing on is religion. The headlines are published nearly weekly - evangelical Christians are the ones who are the most reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet, when I review the data from a survey that was conducted on May 11, 2021 that was administered by Data for Progress, I don’t find a lot of evidence that evangelicals are the ones lagging behind. In fact, I find that those without any religious affiliation were the least likely to have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.


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September 5, 2021 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, September 4, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Martinez: On Being First, On Being Only, On Being Seen, On Charting A Way Forward At Notre Dame And Beyond

Veronica Root Martinez (Notre Dame), On Being First, on Being Only, on Being Seen, on Charting a Way Forward, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 215 (2021):

Notre Dame Law (2020)This Essay reflects upon my professional experiences as a Black woman both at Notre Dame and beyond. It argues that it is important for students to have demographically diverse professors within their educational environments. It calls for the Notre Dame Law School community to continue to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.

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September 4, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Law Schools At A Crossroads

Law360, Law Schools At A Crossroads:

Law360 2The COVID-19 pandemic forced law schools to move online nearly overnight and adopt new approaches to teaching. It also upended much of how the legal industry operates and has likely permanently reshaped the landscape that future graduates will be entering.

Now, as the dust begins to settle, law schools find themselves at a crossroads: Do they return fully to their traditional pre-pandemic models, or do they move forward by embracing some of the lessons from the crisis? And what exactly should they be teaching future attorneys about the practice of law?

In this series, Law360 Pulse takes a closer look at the juncture law schools find themselves in, including both the opportunities and challenges in updating their curriculum for a post-pandemic future, the potential costs of making wholesale changes and how law firms should be stepping into the conversation. ...

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

Friday, September 3, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

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September 3, 2021 in Legal Education, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshop

Thursday, September 9: Clint Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) will present The Democracy Criterion for Taxation virtually at Indiana as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Leandra Lederman

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September 3, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Harvard Law School Is Now More Popular Than Harvard Business School

Poets & Quants, Harvard Law Now More Popular Than Harvard Business School:

HBS HLSFor many years, Harvard Business School attracted more applicants and could boast a lower admit rate than its equally prestigious Law School.

No more.

Harvard Law School received a total of 9,993 applications, up 33% over the 7,505 applications received a year earlier. The school admitted 685 candidates to get to its enrolled incoming class of 560 students for an acceptance rate of 6.9%, well below the 12.9% admit rate last year.


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

Here's How Georgetown Law School Crushed 2021 Admissions

Following up on Monday's post, Admissions Data At Nearly Half Of The U.S. News Top 50: Higher LSATs, UGPAs, And Enrollment:  Reuters, Q&A: Here's How Georgetown Law Crushed 2021 Admissions:

Georgetown University Law Center’s admissions dean Andrew Cornblatt knew something unusual was happening last October, when his office had received far more applications than normal for that time of year. The surge never died down.

By the end of the admissions cycle, Georgetown had 14,000 applicants, a 41% increase from the previous year. It was the largest applicant pool on record at any law school, outpacing the national 12.6% increase in law school applicants. ...

Its median LSAT score rose three points to 171, while the median grade-point average increased to 3.85 from 3.78 a year ago. Other top law schools also made gains in their LSAT and GPA medians this year, though Georgetown is thus far alone in posting a three-point LSAT increase.


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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Hamilton Reviews The Formation of Professional Identity: The Path From Student To Lawyer

Neil Hamilton (St. Thomas; Google Scholar), Book Review, 69 J. Legal Educ. 224 (2019) (reviewing Patrick Emery Longan (Mercer), Daisy Hurst Floyd (Mercer) & Timothy W. Floyd (Mercer), The Formation of Professional Identity: The Path from Student to Lawyer (2020)): 

Formation-of-professional-identityThe Formation of Professional Identity: The Path from Student to Lawyer provides much-needed concise and effective curriculum to address two closely related fundamental challenges for each law student and law school. The fundamental challenge for each law student is how to grow from being an aspiring entrantto-the-profession student to being a lawyer with adequate competency on the full array of capacities and skills that employers and clients want and need. The fundamental and complementary challenge for each law school—and for higher education for the professions generally—is how most effectively to foster each new student’s growth from being an aspiring-entrant student to being a licensed contributing member of the profession.

Starting more than twenty years ago, medical educators realized that emphasis on doctrinal medical knowledge and cognitive analytical skills, even when those skills are being applied in a clinical context, was insufficient to meet patient and population needs. Medical education has been moving toward more emphasis on patient-focused and teamwork centered medical care. 

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September 2, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Professor Defend Thyself: The Failure Of Universities To Defend And Indemnify Their Faculty

Kevin Oates (Temple), Professor Defend Thyself: The Failure of Universities to Defend and Indemnify Their Faculty, 39 Willamette L. Rev. 1063 (2003):

University professors going about their daily activities of teaching, researching, and writing rarely consider the possibility of being sued. To the extent that the concept of potential liability does cross their minds, educational professionals undoubtedly comfort themselves in the realization that since their activities are job-related, the school that employs them is obligated to provide a defense and indemnity in any suit stemming from those activities.

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September 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Syracuse Offers AccessLex Institute’s New Helix Bar Review Course To Its Students At No Charge

Syracuse Law Announces Plans to Offer AccessLex Institute’s Helix Bar Review to Students at No Charge:

Helix 2In a national first, Syracuse University College of Law has partnered with legal education nonprofit AccessLex Institute to offer AccessLex's interactive Helix Bar Review prep course free of charge to all Syracuse Law students [the usual cost is $1,199 for the UBE and $279 for the MBE].

Helix Bar Review is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive bar review program that offers students full access to the program during their third year of law school, up to 20 weeks before the bar exam. Early access is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Helix Bar Review, and it ensures that students with multiple responsibilities in law school, at work, or at home, can start their review early and complete the entire course on the schedule they choose.  Other bar preparation programs are not fully open to students until much later.

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

Keep Distance Education For Law Schools: Online Education, The Pandemic, And Access To Justice

Lael Daniel Weinberger (Harvard), Keep Distance Education for Law Schools: Online Education, the Pandemic, and Access to Justice, 53 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. __ (2021):

While distance education made inroads throughout higher education, law schools kept their distance—until a global pandemic forced them all online for a time. Then the gatekeepers to the profession at the American Bar Association and state bars temporarily dropped their limits on distance learning. Now as American law schools prepare to return to normalcy, should distance learning remain an option?

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September 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Bird-Pollan Named Associate Dean For Academic Affairs At Kentucky

Professor Jennifer Bird-Pollan Named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs:

Bird-Pollan (2021)Jennifer Bird-Pollan, a tax law professor who joined the faculty in 2010, has been named associate dean of academic affairs for the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law. ...

“Jennifer is committed to our academic program, our students and faculty success,” UK Rosenberg Law Dean Mary J. Davis said. “She has a wealth of leadership experience in our college and across campus, and I look forward to working with her.”

Bird-Pollan serves as the Judge William T. Lafferty Professor of Law and teaches federal income tax, estate and gift tax, international tax, partnership tax, corporate tax, and a seminar in tax policy. Her research lies at the intersection of tax law and philosophy, specifically regarding the taxation of wealth transfers and issues of sovereignty in international taxation.

In 2017, Bird-Pollan won the law school’s Duncan Teaching Award, which is presented annually to a faculty member who has excelled in the classroom, courtesy of the Robert M. and Joanne K. Duncan Faculty Improvement Fund.

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September 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Targeting Of Scholars For Ideological Reasons From 2015 To Present

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), The Targeting of Scholars for Ideological Reasons from 2015 to Present:

Scholars have long been targeted for sanction by ideological adversaries. However, some worrying trends are emerging. The current research reveals that since 2015 targeting incidents are on the rise and are increasingly coming from within academia itself — from other scholars and especially from undergraduate students. These targeting incidents take a multitude of forms, including demands for an investigation, demotion, censorship, suspension, and even termination.

This research documents the ways and reasons that scholars have faced calls for sanction; how scholars and institutional administrators have responded to different forms of targeting; and what (if any) sanctions scholars have ultimately faced in response to these targeting incidents, from 2015 to the present (up to and including July 31, 2021).

The key findings of this report include:

  • Over the past five and a half years, a total of 426 targeting incidents have occurred. Almost three-quarters of them (314 out of 426; 74%) have resulted in some form of sanction.
  • The number of targeting incidents has risen dramatically, from 24 in 2015 to 113 in 2020. As of mid-2021, 61 targeting incidents have already occurred.
  • Scholars were targeted most often for speech involving race (e.g., racial inequality, historic racism, racial slurs, BLM, DEI).

Fire 1

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September 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

How Much Is A Law School Dean Worth? $500?

As a sitting law school dean, search firms often contact me for names of potential dean candidates. Last week was the first time a search firm offered to pay me:

Dean Search

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September 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

St. Mary's To Launch Nation's First Fully Online ABA-Accredited JD Degree

Law360, ABA Nod To St. Mary's U Online Law School A Turning Point:

St. Mary's LogoSt. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio recently received approval from the American Bar Association to offer the nation's first online-only ABA-accredited law degree program, and while the effort was heralded by many law professors and experts, it also drew the frustration of others.

Because accreditation matters are confidential, the ABA could not comment on specifics. However, a representative of the ABA did confirm that St. Mary's received approval in May on a requested variance relating to the online program.

"The short answer is that St. Mary's online program has been approved by the [ABA's] Council," the representative told Law360 Pulse. ...

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September 1, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Congressional Research Service Seeks To Hire A Tax Attorney

Congressional Research Service, Legislative Attorney (Tax Law):

CRS Logo (2021)Legislative Attorney (Tax Law), GS-14
Open from August 13- September 3, 2021
Salary: $122,530-$159,286

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), American Law Division (ALD), seeks a Legislative Attorney to analyze legal questions that emerge from the work of Congress related to tax law in particular and American public law generally. This is a non-litigating position emphasizing qualifications and interest in legal research and writing in a public service legislative context.

The Legislative Attorney prepares objective, non-partisan analytical studies and descriptive and background memoranda and reports on legal issues of national significance; provides personal consultation and assistance to congressional committees, Members, and staff on legal issues throughout the legislative process; and participates in or leads team research projects and seminars. The incumbent is expected to develop over time the skills necessary to provide legal analysis and consultation to congressional committees, Members, and staff at increasingly sophisticated levels.

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September 1, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

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September 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Henderson: Moneyball For Law Firm Associates — A 15-Year Retrospective

Bill Henderson (Indiana), Moneyball For Law Firm Associates: A 15-Year Retrospective:

Moneybal Book CoverIn April of 2006, more than 15 years ago, I wrote a memo to file that would go on to exert a disproportionately large impact on my thinking and career, albeit many of the lessons took years to come into focus and were far from what I expected.

The topic was Moneyball as applied to law firm associates—in essence, sketching out the data and methodology necessary to identify under and overvalued attributes of law firm associates, akin to the selection methods used by Oakland Athletics in the famous book by Michael Lewis.

This essay tells the story of how I came to write the Moneyball memo and what happened afterward, including what I learned about the market for associate-level talent, how law firms responded, and the status of law firm Moneyball today.  Back in 2006, I naively thought that the counterintuitive insights went one level deep, thus potentially revealing an arbitrage strategy for entry-level talent. In fact, the counterintuitive insights were layered one top of one another several layers deep, revealing much about the nature of law firms, lawyer motivation and psychology, and why the status quo in law is so enduring.

The stories that follow share 15 years of hard-earned wisdom.  Read them if you want to laugh, partially at me, partially at your fellow lawyers, and partially at the growing pains of a wealthy industry that is reluctantly learning to embrace the power and value of data.

Moneyball comes to the legal academy
To a substantial degree, my memo was inspired by an article on Moneyball written by Paul Caron and Rafael Gely. See Caron & Gely, “Book Review Essay: What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics,” 82 Tex L Rev 1483 (2004).  Although nominally a book review, it was in fact a first-pass attempt at applying Moneyball principles to law school faculty hiring.

The Caron-Gely premise was simple:  In the hiring of entry-level professors, law schools may be under and overvaluing certain objective attributes and thus missing out on junior talent that goes on to produce highly cited scholarship.  To test their hypothesis, Caron and Gely assembled a data set for the fifty young scholars identified by Brian Leiter and a control group of fifty other scholars who entered law teaching during this same period, matching them by entering school and year.

After assessing various measures of productivity (citations, number of articles published, the rank of placements, and number of books, etc), which documented the vast difference in output between the two groups, Carol and Gely tested whether the various objective markers were more or less prevalent among the high-performing scholars.

Suffice to say, the results were contrary to the conventional wisdom:  The rank of law school attended had no bearing on productivity, nor did membership on law review, a judicial clerkship, or a second advanced degree—basically every heuristic used by hiring committees in their first-pass review through AALS’s Faculty Appointments Register (FAR).  In contrast, two factors were predictive of future productivity:  publishing a student note while in law school and the number of articles published prior to the scholar’s first tenure-track job. See id. at 1544 at Table 5.

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September 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Support TaxProf Blog By Shopping On Amazon

Amazon-associatesTaxProf Blog participates in the affiliate program. You can help support TaxProf Blog at no cost to you by making purchases through Amazon links on the blog and through the search box in the right column of the blog:

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September 1, 2021 in About This Blog, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Legal Education, Remote Learning, Technology, And Access To Justice

Legal Tech News, Law Schools Are Offering Vendors Tuition Revenue in Bid to Grow Remote Education:

More law schools are considering offering remote courses after the pandemic. But that transition to digital education comes with a price—which can take the form of the law school paying a portion of its tuition revenue to an online program management (OPM) company for multiple years of aid. While some caution that such arrangements could be opaque and unfair, many note that as law schools accelerate their transition to remote education, the need for OPMs is only going to increase.

Lee Bradshaw, chief strategy officer of online program management provider Noodle, said the final holdouts to remote higher education—law and medical schools—are finally beginning to embrace a hybrid learning model.

“We’re seeing an undercurrent in medical and law,” said Bradshaw. “I know [of a] few university-driven initiatives to bring in a bunch of universities to have conversations about online [education] for law and medical schools. For me, that’s the beginning of a sea change for those disciplines.”

Specifically, he said, more U.S. law schools are applying to the American Bar Association for a 306 distance education variance. 

Legal Tech News, COVID Didn't Spark Law Schools' Tech Transformation, but It Did Accelerate It:

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August 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

2nd Circuit Backs NYU Law Review In Challenge To Diversity Policy

Following up on my previous post, Lawsuits Against Harvard, NYU Law Reviews Claim Racial, Gender Preferences:  Reuters, Appeals Court Backs NYU Law Review in Challenge to Diversity Policy:

Harvard NYU Law ReviewsNew York University School of Law's flagship law review can claim another court win over a group of academics challenging the journal’s diversity policies.

A three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the group’s 2018 lawsuit against the NYU Law Review [Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences v. New York University, No. 20-1508 (2d Cir. Aug. 25, 2021)]. The appeals court agreed that Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences (FASORP) lacked standing. ...

FASORP sued the NYU Law Review in 2018, alleging that its diversity policies violate "Title VI and Title IX by using race and sex preferences when selecting its members, editors, and articles." It also sued the Harvard Law Review in federal court in Boston on nearly identical grounds in a suit that was dismissed in 2019, which it did not appeal. ...

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August 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire An Entry-Level Tax Prof

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law:

Best Campus Photo (2021)Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law is seeking several entry-level, tenure-track faculty to join our vibrant community. We invite candidates with research and teaching interests across all areas of law to apply, and have particular teaching needs in Torts, Tax, Criminal Law, Ethical Lawyering and Intellectual Property Law.

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 would contribute to the diversity and excellence of the faculty. Pepperdine University is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, disability, prior military service or sexual orientation.

For further information, please contact Professor Victoria Schwartz, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee.

Law schools looking to hire Tax Profs to start in the 2022-23 academic year:

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August 31, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

Bahadur: The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Racist

Rory D. Bahadur (Washburn; HeinOnline), Law School Rankings and The Impossibility of Anti-Racism, 53 St. Mary's L.J. ___ (2022):

U.S. News Law (2019)The U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings invoke ideas about excellence and high achievement in the legal academy, but under the surface, they also operate as a catalyst for systemic racism. They do this by capitalizing on system justification, a palliative evolutionary mechanism that forces all members of society, from privileged high socioeconomic groups to the disenfranchised, to buttress the societal status quo pervasively and unconsciously.

These responsive desires to keep the status quo invoked by the rankings are the same ones responsible for the perpetuation of the caste system in India, and every other division of human societies into dominant and disenfranchised groups. This system justification is not subject to introspection because it operates through powerful unconscious mechanisms. As a result, consciously antiracist people do not experience dissonance when making institutional decisions based on the rankings, even though those decisions perpetuate deeply rooted structural racism.

The only schools enrolling black students at the same level as their representation in the general population are the schools U.S. News ranks so poorly that they are not even assigned a numerical ranking, listed only as Tier 2 schools.

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August 31, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, August 30, 2021

They Offered Early Retirement To Faculty. Here’s Why I Took It At 51.

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  They Offered Early Retirement. Here’s Why I Took It at 51., by James M. Lang (Assumption College):

[O]ver the past few years I have felt an increasing sense of imbalance in my professional life. My primary passion has always been writing. I write out of a compulsion that I don’t fully understand, but that gives my life purpose and joy. ...

I’m happiest when I am writing, and I am convinced I have many more books left in me. But with each passing year, as my teaching, service, and administrative duties grew, I seemed to have less and less time to write.

I thought a lot about how to make more time for it but couldn’t see any easy remedies. My university paid me a salary, after all, and had given me a good life. My first responsibilities had to be toward my students, my colleagues, and my institution. Sure, research and writing are part of my job — but a relatively small part at a teaching-intensive institution like mine.

In short, I began to feel less like a plant blooming in a sunny garden and more like one fighting for sun in a shady corner of the yard, sending out tendrils and vines in search of new soil and light. But I had been in that container for so long I couldn’t see how to uproot myself and embark upon a different kind of professional life.

Along came the pandemic. Strange how a global health crisis can clarify the mind: I have only so many years left on the planet. Someday my back will indeed begin to stiffen, and all the yoga in the world won’t turn back time. Someday my passion for writing may diminish. And someday the ideas and words may not flow as easily as they do now.

In April I received an email letting me know that — due to a combination of age and years of service — I was eligible for an early-retirement package.

When the email arrived, I dismissed it. I’m too young for that, I thought. But I kept it in my inbox. For two or three weeks I thought about the retirement package, talked it over with my wife, and thought about it some more.

And then, dear reader, I took it.

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August 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Deans' Leadership In Legal Education Symposium

Toledo Logo16th Deans' Leadership in Legal Education Symposium, 52 U. Tol. L. Rev. 197-352 (2021):

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August 30, 2021 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Admissions Data At Nearly Half Of The U.S. News Top 50: Higher LSATs, UGPAs, And Enrollment

Following up on last week's post:  with Spivey Consulting reporting the admissions statistics for nearly half of the U.S. News Top 50 law schools, LSAT (+1.3) and UGPA (+0.4) medians are up, as well as enrollment (+17.0):

1L Class Updated (090321)

Ten law schools increased enrollment by 15% or more:

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August 30, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

BigLaw Associate Hiring Surges 24% As Legal Business Booms

Bloomberg Law, Big Law Hiring Practices Bring Shortages as Client Demands Grow:

Conservative entry-level hiring practices that bolstered Big Law firms after the Great Recession constrain them now as they struggle to find associates for the mountains of work after pandemic shutdowns.

Am Law 200 firms have hired more than 8,500 associates this year through Aug. 20, a 24% increase over the previous three-year average, according to data from Decipher, which provides lateral hiring due diligence services for law firms.


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August 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, August 29, 2021

NY Times: The New Chief Chaplain At Harvard Is Atheist Author Of 'Good Without God'

New York Times, The New Chief Chaplain at Harvard? An Atheist:

Harvard Chaplain BookThe Puritan colonists who settled in New England in the 1630s had a nagging concern about the churches they were building: How would they ensure that the clergymen would be literate? Their answer was Harvard University, a school that was established to educate the ministry and adopted the motto “Truth for Christ and the Church.” It was named after a pastor, John Harvard, and it would be more than 70 years before the school had a president who was not a clergyman.

Nearly four centuries later, Harvard’s organization of chaplains has elected as its next president an atheist named Greg Epstein, who takes on the job this week.

Mr. Epstein, 44, author of the book “Good Without God,” is a seemingly unusual choice for the role. He will coordinate the activities of more than 40 university chaplains, who lead the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious communities on campus. Yet many Harvard students — some raised in families of faith, others never quite certain how to label their religious identities — attest to the influence that Mr. Epstein has had on their spiritual lives.

“There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support around what it means to be a good human and live an ethical life,” said Mr. Epstein, who was raised in a Jewish household and has been Harvard’s humanist chaplain since 2005, teaching students about the progressive movement that centers people’s relationships with one another instead of with God.

To Mr. Epstein’s fellow campus chaplains, at least, the notion of being led by an atheist is not as counterintuitive as it might sound; his election was unanimous.

“Maybe in a more conservative university climate there might be a question like ‘What the heck are they doing at Harvard, having a humanist be the president of the chaplains?’” said Margit Hammerstrom, the Christian Science chaplain at Harvard. “But in this environment it works. Greg is known for wanting to keep lines of communication open between different faiths.”

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August 29, 2021 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: Why We Need To Start Talking About God

New York Times op-ed:  Why We Need to Start Talking About God, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Christianity Today's 2018 Book of the Year) , :

Liturgy Of The OrdinaryKarl Barth, a 20th-century Swiss theologian, is credited with saying that Christians must live our lives with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Barth, who was a leader of a group of Christians in Germany resisting Hitler, understood that faith is not a pious, protective bubble shielding us from the urgent needs of the world. It is the very impetus that leads us into active engagement with society. People of faith must immerse ourselves in messy questions of how to live faithfully in a particular moment with particular headlines calling for particular attention and particular responses.

While Christians and other religious people may wonder how broader culture affects our faith (or why we must hold a newspaper in one hand), others may wonder why faith is relevant to the contemporary world at all (or why we hold a Bible in the other). Membership in a house of worship has declined steadily in the United States over the past eight decades and, according to a Gallup poll, dropped below 50 percent this year. ...

As a pastor, I see again and again that in defining moments of people’s lives — the birth of children, struggles in marriage, deep loss and disappointment, moral crossroads, facing death — they talk about God and the spiritual life. In these most tender moments, even those who aren’t sure what exactly they believe cannot avoid big questions of meaning: who we are, what we are here for, why we believe what we believe, why beauty and horror exist.

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August 29, 2021 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: A More Secular America Is A Problem For Both Republicans And Democrats

New York Times op-ed:  A More Secular America Is Not Just a Problem for Republicans, by Ryan Burge (Baptist Pastor; Author, The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going (2021); and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Eastern Illinois University):

The Nones 2Since 1988, the General Social Survey has been asking Americans of different ages what they believe about God. For decades, the answer did not change much. Around 70 percent of members of the Silent Generation said that they “know God really exists” and “have no doubts about it.” That same sentiment was shared by about 63 percent of baby boomers and Generation Xers.

But in 2018, millennials expressed a lot less certainty. Only 44 percent had no doubts about the existence of God. Even more doubtful were members of Generation Z — just one-third claimed certain belief in God.

Today, scholars are finding that by almost any metric they use to measure religiosity, younger generations are much more secular than their parents or grandparents. In responses to survey questions, over 40 percent of the youngest Americans claim no religious affiliation, and just a quarter say they attend religious services weekly or more.

Americans have not come to terms with how this cultural shift will affect so many facets of society — and that’s no more apparent than when it comes to the future of the Republican and Democratic Parties.

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August 29, 2021 in Book Club, Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, August 28, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

A Survey Of Deans On The Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On Their Law Schools

D. Benjamin Barros (Dean, Toledo) & Cameron M. Morrissey (J.D. 2021, Toledo), A Survey of Law School Deans on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, 52 U. Tol. L. Rev. 241 (2021):

We conducted an anonymous survey of deans at ABA-accredited law schools asking questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on legal education and on law school students, faculty, and staff. Invitations to participate in the survey were distributed through a listserv maintained by the ABA. The first invitation was sent out on November 20, 2020 and the last response was received on December 18, 2020. The survey was comprised of 56 questions, including six optional, extended response prompts. We received 51 total responses, representing a bit more than 25% of the 199 deans of ABA-accredited law schools. Not all respondents completed all of the questions, but we received responses for all of the questions on the survey from at least 20% of the 199 deans of ABA-Accredited law schools.

Our key findings include the following:

  1. Deans overall have moderate concern over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their students’ education, with some reporting high concern and some reporting no concern.
  2. Most deans did not feel political pressure to maintain in-person classes during the pandemic. A small number of deans at public institutions, however, did feel substantial political pressure to maintain in-person classes.
  3. Most law schools had relatively low rates of COVID-19 infections among students, faculty, and staff.
  4. J.D. enrollment at most law schools increased at most law schools during the pandemic. Enrollment by non-J.D. students and international students tended to go down. Overall enrollment at parent universities also tended to go down.
  5. The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on: a) the finances of many, but not all, law schools; b) the emotional wellbeing of law school students, faculty, and staff; c) the stress level of law school deans.


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August 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Reflections On Elite Education: In A Just World, Would The College I Teach At Exist?

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Reflections on Elite Education: In a Just World, Would the College I Teach at Exist?, by Jonny Thakkar (Swarthmore):

SwarthmoreOne of the wonders of modern academe is that the ideal of workplace democracy should be so prevalent among people who regularly endure faculty meetings. It’s not hard to see how lived experience might lead academics to a Churchillian argument for workplace democracy as the least-bad option, a way of preventing administrative tyranny and legitimating decisions, but how anyone can take seriously the Arendtian vision of speechifying as some higher form of life I really don’t know.

Swarthmore College, where I have taught for the last four years, is run pretty democratically as a result of its Quaker heritage, to the point where any erosion of faculty governance is still noticed and lamented even if the most important decisions seem to be out of our hands. Much of the work is trivial but slow. ... Whether professors’ time is best devoted to such Solomonic inquiries is a question I have not yet seen raised — this is what faculty governance looks like, apparently, and in any case nobody forces you to show up.

The problem with not showing up, of course, is that sometimes important things do get debated, and every so often they even get decided. ... Something about the setting encourages melodrama and grandstanding, not to mention a tendency toward digression that can make concentration, especially via Zoom, seem like a mark of sainthood. A lot has to do with the internal logic of this kind of gathering; everyone has a right to speak, but it’s first-come-first-served and some were born with their hands up. But if people jump up to speak (as I sometimes do) or if they feel compelled to enter a comment in the chat, it’s generally because they care deeply, not only about the issue at hand but also about the underlying question of what Swarthmore stands for. It is this question, unresolved and for the most part unposed, that is the ultimate source of conflict.

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August 28, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, August 27, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Framing Minimum Technology Standards For Law School Graduates

Iantha M. Haight (BYU), Digital Natives, Techno-Transplants: Framing Minimum Technology Standards for Law School Graduates, 44 J. Legal Prof. 175 (2020):

Adjustments need to be made to legal education for new attorneys to be ready for the technological demands of legal practice. In 2012, the American Bar Association added a duty of technology competence to the standard for general competence in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which has now been adopted by 38 states. The new Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 was an important response to decades of developments in technology that have profoundly affected, and will continue to affect, legal practice. However, like the original duty of competence, the specific elements of the duty of technology competence are rather vague

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August 27, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Deep Applicant Pool Yields Record-Breaking Diversity At Top Law Schools

Reuters, Deep Applicant Pool Yields Record-breaking Diversity at Top Law Schools:

A wave of top law schools brought in their most diverse first-year classes ever this month, aided by a nearly 13% increase in the national applicant pool, with Harvard and Yale law schools reporting that students of color made up more than half of their 1L enrollment.

At Harvard Law School, 56% of the J.D. class of 2024 are students of color, up from 47% a year ago, and 54% of the new class are women, the school reported. ... 

Students of color comprise 54% of Yale Law School’s new 1L class, up slightly from 52% the previous year, according to recent data released by the school. Women account for 51% of the new class, while 17% are first-generation college students. ...

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August 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

SSRN Tax Professor Rankings

SSRN Logo (2018)SSRN has updated its monthly ranking of 750 American and international law school faculties and 3,000 law professors by (among other things) the number of paper downloads from the SSRN database.  Here is the new list (through August 1, 2021) of the Top 25 U.S. Tax Professors in two of the SSRN categories: all-time downloads and recent downloads (within the past 12 months):

    All-Time   Recent
1 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)  201,749 Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) 7,952
2 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 123,166 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 4,431
3 Lily Batchelder (NYU) 122,065 Kim Clausing (UCLA)     4,046
4 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 120,167 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 4,012
5 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 119,309 David Kamin (NYU) 3,911
6 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) 112,380 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 3,455
7 David Kamin (NYU) 109,814 Ruth Mason (Virginia) 3,346
8 Cliff Fleming (BYU)    106,078 Daniel Hemel (Chicago) 3,262
9 Manoj Viswanathan (UC-Hastings) 102,977 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 2,622
10 Rebecca Kysar (Fordham) 102,058 Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indy)   2,539
11 Ari Glogower (Ohio State) 101,102 Zachary Liscow (Yale) 2,436
12 Michael Simkovic (USC) 45,782 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 2,310
13 D. Dharmapala (Chicago) 45,011 David Gamage (Indiana-Bloom.) 2,256
14 Paul Caron (Pepperdine) 38,541 Hugh Ault (Boston College) 2,079
15 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 35,490 Darien Shanske (UC-Davis)  2,024
16 Richard Ainsworth (Boston Univ.) 33,016 Dan Shaviro (NYU) 2,001
17 Bridget Crawford (Pace) 28,524 Louis Kaplow (Harvard) 1,988
18 Ed Kleinbard (USC) 27,865 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 1,724
19 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 27,673 Yariv Brauner (Florida) 1,682
20 Robert Sitkoff (Harvard) 26,857 Diane Ring (Boston College) 1,665
21 Brad Borden (Brooklyn) 26,644 Francine Lipman (UNLV) 1,550
22 Jim Hines (Michigan) 26,066 Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College)  1,507
23 Ted Seto (Loyola-L.A.) 25,136 Vic Fleischer (UC-Irvine) 1,409
24 Katie Pratt (Loyola-L.A.) 24,639 Michael Simkovic (USC) 1,395
25 Richard Kaplan (Illinois) 24,568 Paul Caron (Pepperdine)   1,379

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August 27, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Seven Years After Dan Markel's Murder, Katherine Magbanua's Attorneys Seek Delay In October Trial Due To COVID Concerns

WCTV, Magbanua Defense Team Pushes to Delay Trial, Citing Rising COVID-19 Cases:

Magnauba (2021)Katherine Magbanua’s defense team raised COVID-19 concerns, asking to delay her trial in a Wednesday afternoon case management hearing. ... Magbanua’s defense attorneys, Christopher DeCoste and Tara Kawass, say current COVID-19 case numbers are concerning. Both are cancer survivors and immunocompromised.

During the hearing, they added that Magbanua had tested positive for COVID-19 ten days prior, but negative Wednesday morning.

They added that socially distancing from her during trial could unintentionally sway the jury. ...

The defense team also brought up concerns about masks in courtrooms. DeCoste cited the old practice of putting a hood over a person being hanged, so that the spectators wouldn’t have to see facial expressions. He argued the jury could be more inclined to convict Magbanua primarily because they could not see the bottom half of her face under a mask. ...

Judge Robert Wheeler denied the verbal request to continue the trial to a later date in court on Wednesday, but he instructed the defense to file a written motion about their concerns.

The trial date is currently set for October 4.

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August 27, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, August 26, 2021

David Hasen Succeeds Charlene Luke As Editor-In-Chief Of The Florida Tax Review

Florida Tax Review (2021)David Hasen has been named Editor in Chief of the Florida Tax Review, succeeding Charlene D. Luke, who served as editor from 2016 to 2021. Prof. Luke and the other tax faculty at the University of Florida Levin College of Law will continue as members of the editorial board, and the Florida Tax Review will continue to draw on the talent of several graduate tax student editors. A board of advisors consisting of tax faculty at other institutions provides additional support and guidance. The Florida Tax Review accepts submissions exclusively through Scholastica.

August 26, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Most-Cited Deans At The 68 Most-Cited Law Schools

Following up on yesterday's post, The 68 Most-Cited Law Faculties: here are the 30 deans among the 10-most cited faculty at the Top 68 law schools:

3.  Harvard:  John Manning
6.  UC-Berkeley:  Erwin Chemerinsky
9.  Vanderbilt:  Chris Guthrie
15. Cornell:  Jens David Ohlin 
22. UC-Davis:  Kevin Johnson
23. Boston University:  Angela Onwuachi-Willig; St. Thomas (MN):  Robert Vischer 
27. Arizona:  Marc Miller; William & Mary:  A. Benjamin Spencer 
29. USC:  Andrew Guzman 
30. San Diego:  Robert Schapiro
31. Illinois:  Vikram Amar
36. Utah:  Elizabeth Kronk Warner; Case Western:  Jessica Berg
40. UC-Hastings:  David Faigman
43. Ohio State:  Lincoln Davies; Georgia:  Peter Rutledge
46. American:  Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.; Florida State:  Erin O'Hara O'Connor
49. BYU:  Gordon Smith; Wake Forest:  Jane Aiken 
52. Florida:  Laura  Rosenbury; Iowa:  Kevin Washburn; Richmond: Wendy Collins Perdue
57. Missouri:  Lyrissa Lidsky; San Francisco: Susan Freiwald
59. Boston College:  Diane Ring; Wisconsin:  Daniel Tokaji; Pittsburgh: Amy Wildermuth
63. Pepperdine:  Paul Caron 

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August 26, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

ABA Requires Law Schools To Disclose Student Loan And Diversity Data

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, Student Loan Data Will Become Part of Law Schools' ABA Required Disclosures:

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Starting with the 2023-2024 school year, law schools’ Standard 509 Information Reports will include information about the number of students who receive student loans, and the data will be categorized by race, ethnicity and gender.

The council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the change Friday, when it met virtually. Data collection for loan information will start with the 2022-2023 school year, according to a memo from the questionnaire and template committee.

The council also approved a committee recommendation that the reports include data about students who receive scholarships and grants that is categorized by race, ethnicity and gender. Committee members found the information would help the council determine law school compliance with Standard 206, which addresses diversity and inclusion.

Kyle McEntee (Law School Transparency), The ABA To Expand Law School Diversity Data:

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August 26, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire An Associate Director of Career Development

This is a great opportunity to join the professional staff at Pepperdine Caruso Law: Pepperdine Jobs, Associate Director of Career Development:

Best Campus Photo (2021)Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law is seeking an Associate Director of Career Development to guide and advise students and alumni on their career paths. The Associate Director of Career Development works directly with students and alumni on their career development and professional skills training, and collaborates with the CDO team to prepare resources, provide programs, and expand opportunities for employment.


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August 26, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Law School Class Of 2020 Placement Data: Median Salaries Rise, Jobs Fall


NALP, Overall Median Salaries Rise and Private Practice Employment Remains Strong for the Class of 2020, Even as Other Key Employment Metrics Decline Due to the Pandemic:

The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) today released its Employment for the Class of 2020 — Selected Findings, a synopsis of key findings from the upcoming annual Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law School Graduates. The release of the full Jobs & JDs report is anticipated in October 2021. This year’s Selected Findings show that despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment and salary outcomes remained strong for the Class of 2020, although in many cases they fell short of the highwater marks set by the Class of 2019. ...


  • The overall employment rate for the Class of 2020 fell by nearly two percentage points, to 88.4% of graduates for whom employment status was known, compared with 90.3% for the Class of 2019 — halting a pattern of four consecutive years of employment rate growth for the classes of 2016-2019.
  • The percentage of graduates taking jobs for which bar passage is required or anticipated declined by 1.6 percentage points, decreasing from 76.2% in 2019 to 74.6% in 2020; however, the figure remains above the rates observed in the prior ten class years through 2018.
  • Nearly 57% (56.8%) of employed graduates obtained a job in private practice, an increase of 1.6 percentage points over the previous year, and the highest this percentage has been since 2003.
  • The national median salary for the Class of 2020 grew to an all-time high of $75,000, up 3.4% compared to the Class of 2019.
  • The national median law firm salary for the Class of 2020 was $130,000, an improvement of 4.0% in comparison to the Class of 2019, and finally again reached the all-time high median law firm starting salary measured for the Class of 2009.
  • The share of law firm jobs in the smallest firms of 1-10 lawyers and the largest firms of more than 500 lawyers both rose this year. The percentage of jobs in firms of 1-10 lawyers grew to 32.8% of all law firm jobs compared to 31.5% for the Class of 2019. Jobs in firms of more than 500 lawyers increased by 0.3 percentage points to 30.5% of all law firm jobs.


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August 26, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Most-Cited Tax Faculty At The 68 Most-Cited Law Schools

Following up on this morning's post, The 68 Most-Cited Law Faculties:  here are the 23 Tax Profs among the 10-most cited faculty at the Top 68 law schools:

2.  Chicago:  Daniel Hemel
3.  Harvard:  Louis Kaplow
13.  Michigan:  Reuven Avi-Yonah 
14.  UC-Irvine:  Vic Fleischer
18.  Minnesota:  Kristin Hickman
22.  UC-Davis:  Darien Shanske
29.  USC:  Ed McCaffery, Mike Simkovic
33.  Cardozo:  Ed Zelinsky
43.  Alabama:  Susan Pace Hamill; Georgia:  Gregg Polsky
49.  BYU:  Cliff Fleming
52.  Indiana:  David Gamage, Leandra Lederman; Iowa:  Andy Grewal
59.  Boston College:  Ray Madoff, Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, Diane Ring; Pittsburgh:  Tony Infanti
63.  Loyola-L.A.:  Ellen Aprill; Pepperdine:  Paul Caron; Santa Clara:  Pat Cain

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August 25, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Rankings | Permalink

Law Firm Climate Change Rankings

Law Students For Climate Accountability, Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard:

Law Firm Climate Change CoverExecutive Summary
America’s most prestigious law firms have expanded their fossil fuel work.

Last year, Law Students for Climate Accountability released a first-of-its-kind Climate Scorecard, which catalogued the climate-related work of the Vault 100 firms — the 100 top ranked firms in the US — and gave them grades for their performance. Released in October 2020, the report focused on transactional, litigation, and lobbying work over a five-year span that revealed staggering data: the large majority of firms were exacerbating climate change, facilitating $1.31 trillion in transactions and fighting in hundreds of cases to continue warming the planet and endangering low-income communities and communities of color. While 2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic rage and the American West on fire, dying the skies orange and destroying entire communities, the report served to highlight Big Law’s role in climate injustice.

But despite the dismal state of affairs in Big Law and in the world, some reason for optimism remained. But despite the dismal state of affairs in Big Law and in the world, some reason for optimism remained. As driving declined and the economy stalled, many recognized this moment of crisis as a chance to move away from fossil fuels and move towards a just transition to a livable future.

As driving declined and the economy stalled, many recognized this moment of crisis as a chance to move away from fossil fuels and move towards a just transition to a livable future.

The 2021 Climate Scorecard reveals that instead, top firms fought even harder to accelerate climate change. On the whole, data over a five-year window reveal a startling trend among Vault 100 firms:

  • The top firms facilitated a stunning $1.36 trillion in fossil fuel transactions, increasing the top 100’s total by $50 billion from last year’s report;
  • These firms also litigated even more cases on behalf of fossil fuel clients, bringing the total from 275 representations to 358; and
  • Even more firms earned F grades, which requires a firm to do 8+ cases exacerbating climate change, support over $20 billion in fossil fuel
    transactions or receive over $2 million for fossil fuel lobbying. 10 more firms joined the F class. In all, 36 firms managed to perform the extraordinary amount of fossil fuel work necessary to fail.

Some actors stand out as particularly egregious. For example, Akin Gump did more fossil fuel lobbying than 91 Vault 100 firms combined. Allen & Overy did more fossil fuel transactions than 75 Vault 100 firms combined, and Paul Weiss litigated more fossil fuel cases than 60 Vault 100 firms combined. Firms like these are global leaders in the fight for climate change, dedicating top minds to the mission of a warmer planet.

But they are not alone. Only 3 firms received an A and 9 received a B, while 18 received a C, 34 received a D and 36 received an F. On the whole, 88 of the top 100 firms undertook work that worsened climate change.

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August 25, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

The 68 Most-Cited Law Faculties

Gregory C. Sisk (St. Thomas) & Nicole Catlin (St. Thomas), Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2021: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third:

This updated 2021 study explores the scholarly impact of law faculties, ranking the top third of ABA-accredited law schools. Refined by Brian Leiter, the “Scholarly Impact Score” for a law faculty is calculated from the mean and the median of total law journal citations over the past five years to the work of tenured faculty members. In addition to a school-by-school ranking, we report the mean, median, and weighted score, along with a list of the tenured law faculty members at each school with the ten highest individual citation counts. ...

To rank law faculties by scholarly impact in 2021, we examined the tenured faculties of 99 law schools. Based on the results of our prior studies of scholarly impact, we included all law schools that previously scored in or near the top 70 for Scholarly Impact Ranking.

Rank  School  Most Cited Scholars
(* indicates 70 or older in 2021)
U.S. News
Peer Rank
U.S. News Overall Rank
1 Yale  *Ackerman, B.; Amar, A.; Ayres, I.; Balkin, J.; *Eskridge, W.; Koh, H.; Macey, J.; *Post, R.; Siegel, R.; Tyler, T. 1 1
2 Chicago  Baude, W.; Ben-Shahar, O.; Bradley, C.; Ginsburg, T.; Hemel, D.; Huq, A.; * Nussbaum, M.; Posner, E.; * Stone, G.; Strauss, D. 5 4
3 Harvard Bebchuk, L.; Fallon, R.; Goldsmith, J.; Kaplow, L.; Klarman, M.; *Kraakman, R.; Lessig, L.; Manning, J.;  *Shavell, S.; Vermeule, A.; 1 3
4 NYU  Barkow, R.; Choi, S.; *Epstein, R.; Friedman, B.; Issacharoff, S.; *Miller, A.; *Miller, G.; Pildes, R.; Revesz, R.; Waldron, J.  5 6
5 Columbia  Briffault, R.; *Coffee, J.; Crenshaw, K.; Fagan, J.; Gilson, R.; *Gordon, J.; Hamburger, P.; *Merrill, T.; Metzger, G.; Pozen, D.  4 4
6 UC-Berkeley  Chemerinsky, E.; *Cooter, R.; *Farber, D.; Kerr, O.; Menell, P.; Merges, R.; *Samuelson, P.; Schwartz, P.; Solomon, S.; Yoo, J.  7 9
6 Stanford  *Friedman, L.; *Hensler, D.; Lemley, M.; McConnell, M.; O'Connell, A.; Ouellette, L.; Persily, N.; *Polinsky, A.; Sklansky, D.; Sykes, A. 1 2
8 Penn Baker, T.; *Burbank, S.; Coglianese, C.; Fisch, J.; Hoffman, D.; *Hovenkamp, H.; Parchomovsky, G.; Roberts, D.; *Robinson, P.; Skeel, D. 8 6
9 Virginia  Cahn, N.; Citron, D.; Duffy, J.; Gulati, G.; *Laycock, D.; Nelson, C.; Prakash, S.; * Schauer, F.; Solum, L.; * White, G. 8 8
9 Vanderbilt  Bressman, L.; Guthrie, C.; King, N.; Rossi, J.; *Rubin, E.; Ruhl, J.B.; Sherry, S.; * Slobogin, C.; Thomas, R.; * Viscusi, W. 17 16
11 UCLA  Bainbridge, S.; Carbado, D.; Crenshaw, K.; Eagly, I.; Kang, J.; Korobkin, R.; Motomura, H.; Raustiala, K.; Volokh, E.; Winkler, A.  15 14
12 Duke Adler, M.; Blocher, J.; *Cox, J.; Garrett, B.; Helfer, L.; Lemos, M.; Rai, A.; *Schwarcz, S.; Siegel, N.; Young, E.  12 10
13 Michigan Avi-Yonah, R.; Bagenstos, S.; Crane, D.; Eisenberg, R.; Litman, J.; *MacKinnon, C.; Primus, R.; Pritchard, A.; Schlanger, M.; *Schneider, C.  8 10
14 UC-Irvine  Burk, D.; Fleischer, V.; Goodwin, M.; Hasen, R.; Leslie, C.; *Menkel-Meadow, C.; Moran, R.; Reese, R.; Shaffer, G.; Simons, K.  19 35
15 Northwestern  * Allen, R.; Black, B.; Calabresi, S.; Dana, D.; * Diamond, S.; Kang, M.; Koppelman, A.; McGinnis, J.; Pfander, J.; *Redish, M.; Schwartz, D. 12 12
15 Cornell Blume, J.; *Clermont, K.; Dorf, M.; Grimmelmann, J.; *Hans, V.; Heise, M.; Johnson, S.; Ohlin, J.; Rachlinski, J.; Sherwin, E.; Tebbe, N.  11 13
17 Georgetown Barnett, R.; Butler, P.; Cohen, J.; *Gostin, L.; Katyal, N.; * Langevoort, D.; Levitin, A.; * Luban, D.; Ohm, P.; * Thompson, R.; West, R. 12 15
18 George Washington  Abramowicz, M.; Braman, D.; Colby, T.; Glicksman, R.; Kovacic, W.; Lee, C.; Murphy, S.; *Pierce, R.; Rosen, J.; Solove, D.  23 27
18 Texas * Bone, R.; Chesney, R.; Forbath, W.; Golden, J.; * Levinson, S.; *McGarity, T.; * Sager, L.; Spence, D.; Vladeck, S.; Wagner, W. 15 16
18 Minnesota Carbone, J.; Cotter, T.; Hickman, K.; Hill, C.; Klass, A.; *Kritzer, H.; McDonnell, B.; Painter, R.; Schwarcz, D.; *Tonry, M. 19 22
21 Washington University *Appleton, S.; Epstein, L.; Inazu, J.; *Joy, P.; Kim, P.; Kuehn, R.; *Levin, R.; Richards, N.; *Seligman, J.; Tamanaha, B. 18 16
22 UC-Davis Bhagwat, A.; Chin, G.; Dodge, W.; Horton, D.; Joh, E.; Johnson, K.; Joslin, C.; Lee, P.; Pruitt, L.; Shanske, D.  23 35
23 George Mason  Bernstein, D.; Butler, H.; Garoupa, N.; Kobayashi, B.; Kontorovich, E.; Mossoff, A.; *Muris, T.; Somin, I.; Wright, J.; Zywicki, T. 64 41
23 Fordham  *Brudney, J.; Capers, B.; Davidson, N.; Green, B.; Griffith, S.; Huntington, C.; Leib, E.; Pearce, R.; Pfaff, J.; Zipursky, B. 28 35
23 Boston University *Annas, G.; Beermann, J.; Fleming, J.; Gordon, W.; Hylton, K.; Lawson, G.; Maclin, T.; McClain, L.; Meurer, M.; Onwuachi-Willig, A.; 23 20
23 St. Thomas (MN) Berg, T.; *Hamilton, N.; *Johnson, L.; Kaal, W.; Nichols, J.; Organ, J.; Osler, M.; Paulsen, M.; Sisk, G.; Vischer, R. 141 126
27 Arizona Bambauer, D.; Bambauer, J.; Bublick, E.; Coan, A.; Engel, K.; Massaro, T.; Miller, M.; Orbach, B.; Puig, S.; Tsosie, R.; *Williams, R. 40 46
27 William & Mary Bellin, J.; Bruhl, A.; Criddle, E.; Devins, N.; Gershowitz, A.; Ibrahim, D.; Larsen, A.; *Marcus, P.; Oman, N.; Spencer, A.; Zick, T. 28 35
29 USC Barnett, J.; Barry, J.; Craig, R.; Estrich, S.; Guzman, A.; Klerman, D.; McCaffery, E.; Rasmussen, R.; Roithmayr, D.; Simkovic, M.; Simon, D.; Sokol, D.  19 19
30 San Diego *Alexander, L.; Bell, A.; Dripps, D.; Hirsch, A.; Lobel, O.; Ramsey, M.; Rappaport, M.; Schapiro, R.; Sichelman, T.; Smith, S.; 56 86
31 Notre Dame  Alford, R.; Bellia, A.; Bray, S.; Cushman, B.; Garnett, R.; Kozel, R.; Miller, P.; *Newton, N.; O'Connell, M.; Pojanowski, J.; Tidmarsh, J.  23 22
31 Illinois  Amar, V.; *Finkin, M.; Heald, P.; Kesan, J.; Lawless, R.; Mazzone, J.; *Moore, M.; Robbennolt, J.; Thomas, S.; Wilson, R.  40 29
33 Cardozo Buccafusco, C.; Gilles, M.; Herz, M.; Markowitz, P.; Reinert, A.; *Rosenfeld, M.; *Scheck, B.; Sebok, A.; Sterk, S.; *Zelinsky, E. 52 53
33 Brooklyn  Araiza, W.; Baer, M.; Bernstein, A.; Gold, A.; Janger, E.; *Karmel, R.; Pasquale, F.; Ristroph, A.; *Schneider, E.; Simonson, J.; Solan, L.  64 81
33 Colorado  Anaya, S.; Carpenter, K.; Gerding, E.; Gruber, A.; Huang, P.; Kaminski, M.; Krakoff, S.; *Mueller, C.; Norton, H.; Peppet, S.; Schlag, P.; Schwartz, A.; Surden, H.  40 48
36 Utah Adler, R.; Anghie, A.; Baughman, S.; Cassell, P.; Contreras, J.; *Francis, L.; Jones, R.; *Keiter, R.; Peterson, C.; Tokson, M.; Warner, E.  48 43
36 Case Western  Adler, J.; Berg, J.; Hill, B.; Hoffman, S.; Korsmo, C.; Ku, R.; Nard, C.; Perzanowski, A.; Robertson, C.; Scharf, M.  73 72
36 North Carolina  Ardia, D.; *Conley, J.; Coyle, J.; Gerhardt, M.; *Hazen, T.; Hessick, C.; Hessick, F.; Jacoby, M.; *Marshall, W.; Nichol, G.; Papandrea, M.  23 24
36 Emory Dudziak, M.; *Fineman, M.; Freer, R.; Holbrook, T.; Hutchinson, D.; Nash, J.; *Perry, M.; Shepherd, J.; Volokh, A.; Witte, J. 19 29
40 Kansas Bhala, R.; Drahozal, C.; Harper Ho, V.; Hoeflich, M.; Levy, R.; Mulligan, L.; Outka, U.; Stacy, T.; Torrance, A.; Ware, S.; Yung, C.  64 70
40 UC-Hastings Depoorter, B.; Dodson, S.; Faigman, D.; Feldman, R.; *Marcus, R.; Mattei, U.; Owen, D.; Price, Z.; Schiller, R.; Williams, J. 40 50
40 Chicago-Kent  Baker, K.; Dinwoodie, G.; Katz, D.; Kim, N.; Krent, H.; Lee, E.; Marder, N.; Reilly, G.; Rosen, M.; Schmidt, C.  73 91
43 Ohio State  Akbar, A.; Berman, D.; Chow, D.; Cole, S.; Colker, R.; Davies, L.; Foley, E.; Hernández, C.; Simmons, R.; Walker, C.  32 40
43 Alabama Andreen, W.; Carroll, J.; * Delgado, R.; Elliott, H.; Grove, T.; Hamill, S.; Hill, J.; Horwitz, P.; Krotoszynski, R.; * Stefancic, J.; Steinman, A. 32 25
43 Georgia Barnett, K.; Bruner, C.; Burch, E.; Cade, J.; Chapman, N.; Coenen, D.; Cohen, H.; Leonard, E.; Polsky, G.; Rodrigues, U.; Rutledge, P.; *Wells, M.; West, S. 32 27
46 American  Anderson, J.; Daskal, J.; Davis, A.; Fairfax, R.; Ferguson, A.; Franck, S.; Frost, A.; *Robbins, I.; Roberts, J.; Wiley, L.  48 81
46 Florida State  Abbott, F.; Bayern, S.; Hsu, S.; Landau, D.; Logan, W.; O’Hara O’Connor, E.; Ryan, E.; Seidenfeld, M.; Stern, N.; Ziegler, M.  45 48
46 Maryland  *Colbert, D.; Ertman, M.; Gifford, D.; Goodmark, L.; Graber, M.; Gray, D.; Percival, R.; Pinard, M.; Ram, N.; Stearns, M.; Steinzor, R.; Tu, K. 48 50
49 Temple  Arewa, O.; Burris, S.; Dunoff, J.; Gugliuzza, P.; Hollis, D.; Lin, T.; Lipson, J.; Mandel, G.; Ramji-Nogales, J.; Rogers, B.; Spiro, P.  56 53
49 BYU  Asay, C.; Fee, J.; *Fleming, J.; Gedicks, F.; Hurt, C.; Jensen, E.; Nielson, A.; Scharffs, B.; Smith, D.; Sun, L.  52 29
49 Wake Forest  Aiken, J.; Chavis, K.; *Green, M.; Hall, M.; Knox, J.; Palmiter, A.; Parks, G.; *Shapiro, S.; Taylor, M.; Wright, R. 45 41
52 Florida  Arnow-Richman, R.; Bornstein, S.; Calvert, C.; *Dowd, N.; Fenster, M.; Nance, J.; Noah, L.; *Page, W.; Rhee, R.; Rosenbury, L.; Stinneford, J.; Wolf, M. 32 21
52 Arizona State Bodansky, D.; Fellmeth, A.; Hodge, J.; Luna, E.; Marchant, G.; Miller, R.; Rule, T.; *Saks, M.; Selmi, M.; Weinstein, J.  32 25
52 Iowa Bohannan, C.; Estin, A.; Gallanis, T.; Grewal, A.; Muller, D.; Pettys, T.; Rantanen, J.; Steinitz, M.; VanderVelde, L.; Washburn, K.; Wing, A.; Yockey, J.  32 29
52 Indiana-Maurer Dau-Schmidt, K.; Fischman, R.; Fuentes-Rohwer, L.; Gamage, D.; Geyh, C.; Henderson, W.; Janis, M.; Johnsen, D.; Lederman, L.; Nagy, D.; Widiss, D.  32 43
52 Richmond Cotropia, C.; Eisen, J.; Erickson, J.; Gibson, J.; Lain, C.; Lash, K.; Osenga, K.; Perdue, W.; *Tobias, C.; Walsh, K.  56 53
57 Missouri  Bowman, F.; Crouch, D.; English, D.; Gely, R.; Lambert, T.; Lidsky, L.; Lietzan, E.; Oliveri, R.; Reuben, R.; Schmitz, A.; Wells, C.  83 60
57 San Francisco  Bazelon, L.; Davis, J.; Freiwald, S.; Green, T.; *Hing, B.; Iglesias, T.; Kaswan, A.; Leo, R.; Ontiveros, M.; Travis, M.  127 147-193
59 Boston College  Bilder, M.; Cassidy, R.; Greenfield, K.; Kanstroom, D.; Liu, J.; Madoff, R.; McCoy, P.; Oei, S.; Olson, D.; Repetti, J.; Ring, D.; Yen, A.  28 29
59 UNLV  Cooper, F.; Griffin, L.; Kagan, M.; Main, T.; McGinley, A.; Orentlicher, D.; Rapoport, N.; Stanchi, K.; Stempel, J.; Sternlight, J.  64 60
59 Wisconsin Brito, T.; Findley, K.; Huneeus, A.; Klingele, C.; Klug, H.; Rogers, J.; Schwartz, D.; Seifter, M.; Tokaji, D.; Yackee, J.  28 29
59 Pittsburgh  Brake, D.; Brand, R.; Carter, W.; *Chew, P.; Crossley, M.; Harris, D.; Infanti, A.; *Lobel, J.; Madison, M.; Wildermuth, A. 64 67
63 Santa Clara  *Cain, P.; Chien, C.; *Glancy, D.; Goldman, E.; Gulasekaram, P.; Kloppenberg, L.; Love, B.; Oberman, M.; Ochoa, T.; Sloss, D.; Spitko, E.; Yosifon, D. 73 126
63 SMU  Carpenter, D.; Colangelo, A.; Coleman, J.; Cortez, N.; Grossman, J.; Hayden, G.; Ryan, M.; *Steinberg, M.; Taylor, D.; Thornburg, E.; Turner, J.  64 52
63 Hofstra Baruch Bush, R.; Burke, A.; Colombo, R.; *Dolgin, J.; Freedman, E.; Greenwood, D.; Ku, J.; Manta, I.; Neumann, R.; *Yaroshefsky, E.  107 119
63 Northeastern * Baker, B.; Davis, M.; Dyal-Chand, R.; Hartzog, W.; * Klare, K.; Medwed, D.; Parmet, W.; Rosenbloom, R.; Waldman, A.; *Williams, P. 73 67
63 Loyola-LA  Aprill, E.; Hayden, P.; Hughes, J.; Levenson, L.; Levitt, J.; Miller, E.; Petherbridge, L.; Romano, C.; Willis, L.; Zimmerman, A.  56 72
63 Pepperdine  Anderson, R.; Caldwell, H.; Caron, P.; Childress, D.; Han, D.; Helfand, M.; McDonald, B.; McNeal, G.; Pushaw, R.; Stipanowich, T.; Weston, M.  64 46

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August 25, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Have Universities Been Meeting Their Legal Obligations To High-Risk Faculty During The Pandemic?

Gary J. Simson, Mark L. Jones, Cathren Page & Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne (Mercer), It's Alright, Ma, It's Life and Life Only: Have Universities Been Meeting Their Legal Obligations to High-Risk Faculty During the Pandemic?, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 649 (2021):

Even those universities most firmly committed to returning to in-person instruction in fall semester 2020 recognized that for health reasons some exceptions would need to be made. The CDC had identified two groups—people age sixty-five and over, and people with certain medical conditions—as persons “at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” and it had spelled out various special precautions they should take to avoid contracting the virus. Given the CDC’s unique stature, universities very reasonably could have been expected to grant exceptions to faculty falling into either group, but that’s not what many universities did.

We argue that, properly understood, four separate legal sources required universities to exempt high-risk faculty in the past academic year from any in-person teaching requirement.

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August 25, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink