Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Right And Left Agree: It Is Time For Yale Law School To Stand Up To Progressive Opponents Of Free Speech


Following up on Friday's post, Is Free Speech In American Law Schools A Lost Cause?:

Yale Law Logo (2020)Wall Street Journal editorial, Yale Law Students for Censorship:

Some readers may think these students should be forgiven the excesses of youth. But these are adults, not college sophomores. They are law students who will soon be responsible for protecting the rule of law. The right to free speech is a bedrock principle of the U.S. Constitution. If these students are so blinkered by ideology that they can’t tolerate a debate over civil liberties on campus, the future of the American legal system is in jeopardy.

Individual judges choose their clerks, and no doubt some will figure they can educate these progressive protesters. But Judge Silberman’s letter should, if nothing else, warn these students that there may be consequences for becoming campus censors.

David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), An Open Letter To Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken:

As dean, it's better to be feared than loved—and it's time to strike fear into the hearts of free-speech opponents.

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March 22, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

WSJ: Short-Seller Kingpin Tries To Torpedo Tenure Of Columbia Law Prof Whose Research Guides Federal Prosecutors Investigating Market Manipulation

Wall Street Journal, Carson Block’s Latest Short Target Is a Columbia Law Professor:

MittsA federal criminal investigation into short sellers has spawned a behind-the-scenes feud between a law professor whose research is helping to guide prosecutors and one of the most prominent investors in their sights.

Carson Block, known for public broadsides against companies he suspects of fraud, has been waging a campaign to discredit Joshua Mitts [right], a Columbia University law professor who has been aiding the U.S. Justice Department in its investigation into whether short sellers use illegal trading tactics to drive stock prices down. ...

Mr. Block wrote last month to Columbia’s head of human resources urging the school to investigate Mr. Mitts’s research, as well as his paid consulting work for companies targeted by short sellers.

In the letter, viewed by the Journal, he attacked a paper Mr. Mitts wrote in 2018, which found that bearish posts on the investor website Seeking Alpha were often accompanied by unusual trading activity [Short and Distort]. The paper has helped guide prosecutors in their investigation, the Journal has reported.

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March 22, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, March 21, 2022

Muller: Federal Judges Have Already Begun To Drift Away From Hiring Yale Law Clerks


Following up on Friday's post, Federal Appeals Judge Suggests Yale Law Protesters 'Should Be Disqualified for Potential Clerkships':  Derek Muller (Iowa), Federal Judges Have Already Begun to Drift Away From Hiring Yale Law Clerks:

The truth is, Yale Law has already seen falling clerkship placement numbers in recent years. Incidents like this may harden some judges’ opposition. ...

I’ll start with percentage of graduates placed into a full-time, long-term federal clerkship. ...


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March 21, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: U.S. News Ranked Columbia No. 2, But A Math Professor Has His Doubts

Columbia US News

Following up on my previous post, Columbia Math Professor Questions University's #2 U.S. News Ranking: 'A Web Of Illusions':

New York Times, U.S. News Ranked Columbia No. 2, but a Math Professor Has His Doubts:

Everyone knows that students buff their résumés when applying to college. But a math professor is accusing Columbia University of buffing its own résumé — or worse — to climb the all-important U.S. News & World Report rankings of best universities.

Michael Thaddeus, who specializes in algebraic geometry at Columbia, has challenged the university’s No. 2 ranking this year with a statistical analysis that found that key supporting data was “inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading.”

In a 21-page blistering critique on his website, Dr. Thaddeus is not only challenging the rating but redoubling the debate over whether college rankings — used by millions of prospective college students and their parents — are valuable or even accurate.

Columbia said it stood by its data. Officials said there was no accepted industry standard for the data that goes into college rankings — every rankings project does it differently — and they strove to meet the technical requirements as set by U.S. News. But, they said, the university was not necessarily defending the process. ...

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March 21, 2022 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 20, 2022

A Young Father With Terminal Cancer Asks: Does My Son Know You?

Jonathan Tjarks (The Ringer), Does My Son Know You?: Fatherhood, Cancer, and What Matters Most:

TjarksI got scanned for the first time last April. That’s when I found out I had cancer. I had been in and out of the hospital for two months. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong because what I had (a Ewing’s-like sarcoma with a BCOR-CCNB3 rearrangement) is so rare. Sarcomas are small tumors found in the bones and connective tissues of the body. They represent about 1 percent of new cancer cases in the United States each year among adults, and BCOR is an even tinier part of that 1 percent. The odds of me getting it were about 25 million to 1. My wife and I ran into a doctor who is friends with her parents. He asked how it felt to get hit by lightning.

Sarcomas are one of the deadliest kinds of cancers. The five-year survival rates for adults with metastatic Ewing’s sarcomas are between 15 percent and 30 percent. Metastatic means the tumors have already spread through the body by the time they are diagnosed. There were too many for the doctors to count on my first scan. ...

Being diagnosed with terminal cancer doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. The doctors don’t actually tell you how long you have to live. They can’t predict the future. What they say is: What you have will kill you at some point. We just don’t know when. It could be months. It could be years. It could be longer.

The only real hope they can offer is that someone might find a cure before it’s too late. All they can do for now is keep me alive as long as they can. ...

[I]t leaves you with a lot of time to think. I usually end up thinking about my son.

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March 20, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Prayers For Ukraine

Saturday, March 19, 2022

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Harvard, Yale, And Stanford Law Students And Faculty Pressure U.S. Law Firms To Cut Ties With Russian Clients

Following up on my previous post, Harvard 2L Walks Away From Summer Associate Job In NYC To Protest Law Firm's Work In Russia; Other Offers Come Pouring In:, Harvard Law 2L Who Gave Up Summer Associate Job Launches New Effort Urging Law Firms to Cut Ties With Russian Clients:

Ryan Donahue, a 2L at Harvard Law School, made headlines earlier this month when he walked away from a summer associate position at a large New York City law firm in protest of the firm’s work in Russia.

Since then, Donahue began working with a group of students from Harvard, Yale and Stanford ... to continue to pressure law firms to cut ties with Russian clients, he told on Monday. “We went live with a petition [United Against Law Firm Complicity in Russia’s War] for law school students on March 14."

Ian Ayres (Yale), Robert Daines (Stanford) & John Coates (Harvard), Law Firms and Russian Profits:

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March 19, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Gilens Presents Testing Theories Of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, And Average Citizens At The Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs

Martin Gilens (UCLA) presented Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (with Benjamin Page (Northwestern; Google Scholar)) yesterday at the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs hosted by Tsilly Dagan and Ruth Mason.

Martin-gilensEach of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.

A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

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March 19, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Friday, March 18, 2022

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Wednesday, March 23: Mike Simkovic (USC; Google Scholar) will present Pigouvian Contracts (with Meirav Furth-Matzkin (UCLA)) as part of the Duke Faculty Workshops. If you would like to attend, please contact Rachel Greeson.

Thursday, March 24: Jonathan Choi (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present Beyond Purposivism in Tax Law (video) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Thursday, March 24: Clinton G. Wallace (South Carolina; Google Scholar) will present Democracy As A Criteria for Taxation as part of the Boston College Tax Policy Collaborative. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

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March 18, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Lat: Is Free Speech In American Law Schools A Lost Cause?


David Lat (Original Jurisdiction), Is Free Speech In American Law Schools A Lost Cause?:

Hastings YaleRecent controversies at UC Hastings and Yale Law—Yale, shocking, I know—don't provide much reason for hope.

On March 1, at the UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, the law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society attempted to hold an event titled “The Battle Over Justice Breyer’s Seat.” Planned months in advance, it was going to be a debate about the future of the Supreme Court between the libertarian/conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro, executive director of the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown Law (currently on leave), and the liberal/progressive legal scholar Rory Little, the Joseph W. Cotchett Professor of Law at UC Hastings.

After the event was scheduled but before it took place, Shapiro issued his controversial and poorly worded “lesser black woman” tweets about the SCOTUS nomination process, which made him a reviled figure on the left. So when he flew across the country and appeared at the UC Hastings event, he was shouted down by angry students who accused him of sexism and racism. Whenever Shapiro tried to speak, student protesters drowned him out with shouting, table banging, profanity, and personal insults. ...

I was deeply dismayed by what happened at Hastings. So was UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean David Faigman, who sent out an eloquent email strongly emphasizing the law school’s commitment to both free speech and diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Dean Faigman wrote, “We may not support Mr. Shapiro’s previously expressed views—some of which we personally find deeply offensive—but we support his right to speak on our campus.”

I hoped that the Shapiro shout-down was an aberration, an isolated event that would not be repeated at other law schools. Unfortunately, less than two weeks later, something similar almost happened at… yes, you guessed it, Yale Law School [Yale Law Students Protest Alliance Defending Freedom Speaker At FedSoc Event, Prof Tells Them To 'Grow Up'; Armed Police Presence Triggers Backlash]. ...

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March 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: A New Name For California’s Oldest Law School: UC-San Francisco Or UC-Powen’om?

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  New York Times, A New Name for California’s Oldest Law School? It’s Not Easy.:

UC Hastings (2022)When a New York Times article last year detailed the involvement of the founder of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in state-sponsored massacres of Indigenous Californians, an outcry ensued. The law school’s board swiftly and unanimously agreed to change the school’s name.

But in the months since, university administrators have learned that deleting a tainted name might be the easy part. Choosing a new one is proving to be a fraught and costly process. ...

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March 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, March 17, 2022

'Diversity, Equity And Inclusion'—Catchy Slogans And Buzzwords, Little Proof They Matter To The Legal Profession

Sheriece M. Perry (Massachusetts Trial Court), "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"—Catchy Slogans and Buzzwords with Little Proof That They Matter to the Legal Profession in Massachusetts!, 62 B.C. L. Rev. 2747 (2021):

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants dedicated his life and much of his work on the bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to racial equity and justice. Sheriece Perry credits the late Chief Justice with his support of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, and discusses the work this committee has done since his passing. Principally, the committee issued a Town Hall Report in February 2021 that revealed a disappointing underrepresentation of women and people of color among Massachusetts attorneys. 

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March 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

March Madness Law School Bracket: Duke, Michigan, USC, Yale in Final Four

Here is the March Madness Law School Bracket, with outcomes determined by the 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings (using academic peer reputation as the tiebreaker). The Final Four are Yale (1), Duke (10), Michigan (10), and USC (19), with Yale beating Michigan in the championship game.

2022 March Madness

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March 17, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Why Are The Titles Of Articles In The Top 20 Law Reviews Getting Shorter?

Edward Stiglitz (Cornell; Google Scholar), Untitled:

The length of article titles in leading law journals decreased by roughly twenty-five percent over the last quarter century. This decline in title length affects high- and low-quality articles published in a year, higher- and lower-ranked journals, and authors from most academic institutions.


This suggests that reduced title-length is driven by a broad-based force. Here, I propose that we conceive of titles as choices sensitive to social and technological constraints.

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March 17, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

LSAC Announces New Undergraduate Pathway To Law School Without Taking The LSAT/GRE

LSAC, LSAC Announces Pilot Program That May Allow Students to Apply to Law School Without an Admissions Test:

The Law School Admission Council announced today an initiative that aims to offer undergraduate students a new, holistic pathway to law school.

LSAC’s new Legal Education Program is intended to help students develop the skills necessary for success in law by providing a curriculum, which in the future may allow students to apply to law school without having to take any admissions test.

“We believe the Legal Education Program will provide a second, equally valid and reliable alternative for law school admission in the future that will complement the proven LSAT exam,” according to LSAC’s website.

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March 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Spivey: Changes In U.S. News Methodology Will Lead To Volatility In The 2023 Law School Rankings To Be Released March 29

Mike Spivey, 2023 U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology:

U.S. News Law (2019)U.S. News & World Report recently released the embargoed version of their 2023 (2022 release) rankings, and we can confirm that there have been changes to the methodology used to calculate schools' overall ranking.

First, U.S. News has increased the weight allocated to its bar passage metric. Previously the bar passage score was assigned a 2.25% weight; that has been increased to 3%.

Second, U.S. News has changed how the bar passage metric is scored. ...

The third change U.S. News made was to the library metrics that were introduced in last year's 2022 edition of the rankings. Previously there had been 7 such metrics, each weighted at 0.25%. Now, U.S. News has consolidated those 7 into a single metric, the ratio of full-time equivalent professional librarian positions to students. That single metric is weighted at 1%. ...

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March 16, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Crawford: Pink Tax And Other Tropes

Bridget J. Crawford (Pace; Google Scholar), Pink Tax and Other Tropes, 34 Yale J.L. & Feminism __ (2022):

Yale J Law & FeminismLaw reform advocates should be strategic in deploying tax tropes. Through an examination of five common tax phrases—the “nanny tax,” “death tax,” “soda tax,” “Black tax,” and “pink tax”—this Article demonstrates that tax rhetoric is more likely to influence law when used to describe specific economic injustices resulting from actual government duties, as opposed to figurative inequalities. In comparison, slogans describing figurative taxes are less likely to influence law and human behavior, even if they have descriptive force in both popular and academic literature as a short-hand for group-based disparities. This Article catalogues and evaluates what makes for effective tax talk, in terms of impact on both the law and day-to-day actions on the ground. With this roadmap, lawyers, policy makers and others will be able make more forceful and precise tax-based arguments aimed at reforming the law and changing human behavior.

This Article makes three principal claims—one descriptive, one empirical, and one normative. 

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March 16, 2022 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Yale Law Students Protest Alliance Defending Freedom Speaker At FedSoc Event, Prof Tells Them To 'Grow Up'; Armed Police Presence Triggers Backlash


Yale Daily News, Yale Law Students Protest Anti-LGBTQ Speaker, Armed Police Presence Triggers Backlash:

Yale Law Logo (2020)At a Thursday event at the Yale Law School, more than 120 students gathered to protest Kristen Waggoner, a controversial anti-LGBTQ speaker invited by the Federalist Society. At least four armed police were called to respond to the protest.

Waggoner was invited by the Federalist Society, alongside Monica Miller, an associate at the American Humanist Association, to discuss civil rights litigation in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski. However, Waggoner’s role as the general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, generated a large student protest to which police were called. Over 400 law students — more than half of the current Law School student body — have signed an open letter condemning the presence of armed police at a student protest at the Federalist Society meeting. In the open letter, the students pointed in particular to the history of anti-LGBTQ actions taken by the group.

“Understandably, a large swath of [Yale Law School] students felt that [the Federalist Society’s] decision to lend legitimacy to this hate group by inviting its general counsel to speak at [Yale Law School] profoundly undermined our community’s values of equity and inclusivity at a time when LGBTQ youth are actively under attack in Texas, Florida, and other states,” the open letter reads. “… Even with all of the privilege afforded to us at YLS, the decision to allow police officers in as a response to the protest put YLS’ queer student body at risk of harm.”

The letter was primarily concerned with the presence of armed police at the protest, but additionally condemned law professor Kate Stith, who moderated the event and told the protesters to “grow up.” The letter, which was initially submitted to Law School administrators with over 130 signatures and has since more than tripled in signatories, notes that signatories are “a coalition of queer students and allies deeply concerned with the presence of armed police at a peaceful protest of law student. ...

As Stith began to read aloud the University’s free speech policy, multiple protesters responded that “this protest is free speech.” Stith continued on to say “come on, grow up,” and was met with a response of “will those trans kids grow up?” Around half of the people in the room left after the comment from Stith, and more continued to leave as the event continued. Some protestors went on to occupy the hallway outside. ...

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March 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Legal Ed News Roundup

ABA Tax Section Is Accepting Applications For The Inaugural Loretta Collins Argrett Fellowship

The ABA Tax Section is accepting applications for the inaugural Loretta Collins Argrett Fellowship, due on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022. 

ABA Tax Section (2021)The Loretta Collins Argrett Fellowship seeks to identify, engage, and infuse historically underrepresented individuals into the Tax Section, create a more accessible, equitable, and inclusive pathway into Tax Section leadership, support the expansion, diversification, and inclusiveness of the tax profession, and create a sense of belonging for members looking to become involved with the Section.

The Loretta Collins Argrett Fellowship is a three-year program open to any individual with a diverse background and/or a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tax bar. The Tax Section aspires to award up to five (5) three-year Fellowships each fiscal year. The Fellowships provide the following benefits:

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March 15, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Fellowships & VAPs, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

2022 Law School Rankings By Graduates In BigLaw Jobs

Go-to-law-schools, The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools:

We have ranked the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of their 2021 juris doctor graduates into associate positions at the largest 100 law firms in the country.  Columbia Law School tops the list for the ninth straight year, with 64% of its recent graduate class now working in Big Law. The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School comes in at No. 2, followed by Cornell Law School at No. 3. 

  1. Columbia
  2. Penn
  3. Cornell
  4. Northwestern
  5. Duke
  6. NYU
  7. Virginia
  8. UC-Berkeley
  9. Chicago
  10. Harvard
  11. Georgetown
  12. USC
  13. Vanderbilt
  14. Michigan
  15. Boston College
  16. UCLA
  17. Boston University
  18. Texas
  19. Fordham
  20. Stanford

Columbia Tops List for 9th Straight Year, But There's Some Reshuffling Near the Top ranked the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of their 2021 juris doctor graduates into associate positions at the largest 100 law firms in the country.

Go-To Law Schools: All Schools Data
See hiring stats for every law school that sent a 2021 graduate to one of the largest 100 firms.

Go-To Law Schools: Search By School
Search our Go-To Law Schools data by school to see the firms where 2021 graduates found associate jobs.

Go-To Law Schools: Search By Firm
Search our Go-To Law Schools hiring data by firm to see the schools from which they hired new associates.

Explore the Data Behind The Go-To Law Schools
Our interactive database allows you to delve into all the Go-To Law Schools School associate hiring and alumni partner promotion data.

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March 15, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Taxes, Taxpayers, And Settler Colonialism: A Critical Fiscal Sociology Of Tax As White Property

Kyle Willmott (Simon Fraser; Google Scholar), Taxes, Taxpayers, and Settler Colonialism: Toward a Critical Fiscal Sociology of Tax as White Property, 56 Law & Soc'y Rev. 6 (2022):

Law & Society ReviewIn settler colonial states such as Canada, tax is central to political ideas that circulate about Indigenous nations and people. The stories that are told about Indigenous peoples by ‘taxpayers’ often involve complaints about budgets, welfare, and ‘unfair’ tax arrangements. The paper theorizes how informal ‘tax imaginaries’ and ‘taxpayer’ subjectivities are forged through state policy and how ostensibly fiscal concerns are imbricated with white political entitlement that erodes Indigenous legal and political sovereignty. By tracing the construction of taxpayer concerns and tax myths as forms of fiscalized racism, the paper demonstrates the importance of tax to settler colonialism and the shape of Indigenous-settler relations. Taxpayer subjects are not just legal or material positionings in relation to tax and the state, but powerful subjects that refigure political problems as ‘fiscal’ and construct Indigenous people and nations through racialized repertoires of property and possession.

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March 15, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The Essay That Prompted An Editorial Revolt At Duke Law School

Duke Contemp 5

Following up on my previous post, Duke Law School Kerfuffle Over Publication Of Article In Symposium On Sex In The Law (more here):  Chronicle of Higher Education, The Essay That Prompted an Editorial Revolt:

Kathleen Stock’s essay in the latest issue of Law and Contemporary Problems was controversial before she even wrote it. Last summer eight student editors resigned from the journal, which is published by Duke University’s law school, rather than be associated with the essay. The remaining student editors elected not to work on the issue in protest, and they voiced their objections in a note appended to the journal’s masthead.

[As a general matter, student staff members of the journal Law & Contemporary Problems (L&CP) do not select articles for the symposium issues in its volumes. As L&CP is organized and operates, issue proposals are approved by the journal's faculty board and article selections are made by the special editors. The student role is typically to produce the issues once articles have been finalized by the authors and special editors. In the case of this issue, 85-1: Sex in Law, no articles have been read, edited, or reviewed by any L&CP student staff editors or executive board members acting in their official capacities as journal members. Over the summer of 2021, eight 3L students resigned from the journal and the remainder of the 3L membership voted not to have student members contribute to this symposium in their official capacities; these decisions were in response to the inclusion of Kathleen Stock's essay and the faculty board's rejection of the student executive board's request for use of a style guide on uniform language for the issue which the student executive board's membership considered necessary to avoid harm to the transgender community.]

Doriane Lambelet Coleman (Duke; Google Scholar) & Kimberly Krawiec (Virginia; Google Scholar) , Foreword, 85 Law & Contemp. Probs. 1 (2022):

This symposium continues the discussion we began in Volume 80 (2017), on sex in different institutional settings. ...

We want to close with an expression of gratitude to the students who helped edit this volume after a number of editors and journal members resigned from the board or refused to work on it, for reasons explained in their statement on the masthead page. This includes the research assistants of individual authors, who did work that would normally have been completed by the student board, as well as Duke Law students who volunteered their time without pay or institutional credit to produce the rest. Among the latter, we especially want to recognize Meredith Criner who acted as de facto editor-in-chief even as she also did a lot of the below-the-line work normally reserved for junior members of the student board.

Chronicle of Higher Education, The Essay That Prompted an Editorial Revolt:

The proposed topic, along with Stock’s reputation, was enough to prompt a staff revolt.

The essay, titled “The Importance of Referring to Human Sex in Language,” is part of the journal’s “Sex in Law” special issue, which is dedicated to the “high-stakes, highly polarized” debate surrounding how sex is defined by courts and legislatures. In it, Stock, who until last fall was a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, in England, argues against what she calls “sex-denialism.” The core of her case is the following: “Though it is normally polite and desirable to observe the preferred descriptors and pronouns of trans people in interpersonal contexts, there are times when literal and accurate reference to actual sex is important.” Among the times she cites: medical settings, sports teams, and prisons. Stock insists that “the concept woman does vital cognitive work that simply could not be done were the concept changed to refer to gender identity or social role.”

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March 15, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, March 14, 2022

Osgoode Hall Law School Workshop Invitation: Women With Disabilities And Negative Taxation

Workshop Invitation: Women with Disabilities and Negative Taxation (Mar. 10, 2022):

Osgoode HallWe would like to invite you to a workshop tentatively scheduled for November 11, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. The goal of this event is to contribute to the debates about proposed Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) program (Bill C-35) by sharing insights from multiple disciplines, different perspectives, and several stakeholder groups, with a focus on women with disabilities.

By way of background, the existing patchwork of income-support programs in Canada, including some delivered through the income tax system (such as disability tax credit and registered disability savings plan) fail to provide a reasonable level of income security for working-age disabled Canadians, especially women. The CDB aims to remedy that by modelling after the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for seniors. If introduced, it will be the most significant addition to the Canadian social security system in recent years.

What are the challenges in getting the legislation passed? How will the CDB interact with existing programs (at federal and provincial levels)? What lessons can be learned from the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) in ensuring the CDB is effectively targeted, fairly implemented and adequate in meeting the needs of women with disabilities? Can the CDB be the genesis of a general negative tax or universal basic income system?

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March 14, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Good With Words: Speaking And Presenting

Patrick Barry (Michigan), Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting (2021)

Good With WordsSuppose you were good with words. Suppose when you decided to speak, the message you delivered—and the way you delivered it—successfully connected with your intended audience. What would that mean for your career prospects? What would that mean for your comfort level in social situations? And perhaps most importantly, what would that mean for your satisfaction with the personal relationships you value the most?

This book is designed to help you find out. Based on an award-winning course and workshop series at the University of Michigan taken by students training to enter a wide range of fields—law, business, medicine, social work, public policy, design, engineering, and many more—it removes the guesswork from figuring out how to communicate clearly and compellingly. All of us have ideas that are worth sharing. Why not learn how to convey yours in a way that people will appreciate, enjoy, and remember?

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March 14, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Maynard: Killing The Motivation Of The Minority Professor

Goldburn Maynard Jr. (Indiana-Kelley Business School; Google Scholar), Killing the Motivation of the Minority Professor, 107 Minn. L. Rev. ___ (2023):

Minnesota Law Review (2021)This Essay hypothesizes that a significant number of junior scholars with radical or non-normative ideas forego those ideas or mute them in order to fit their work within the dominant paradigm of legal scholarship. Even those who move forward and publish their radical or non-normative proposals spend significant time attempting to overcome internal and external resistance, negotiating with mentors, and finding ways to make the radical seem palatable. This disproportionately harms the productivity of minority law professors not only through inefficiency but also through the long-term destruction of intrinsic motivation that is vital and overlaps with successful, fulfilling, and productive careers. To counteract some of these stifling effects, the Essay proposes several ways universities and the legal academy can support radical and non-normative scholarship.

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March 14, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Former BigLaw Partner Who Left $800k Salary For $32k College Basketball Job Is Headed To The Big Dance As Head Coach Of Upstart Longwood Lancers

Washington Post op-ed:  He Left a Lucrative Law Career to Become a College Basketball Coach. Now He’s in the Big Dance, by John Feinstein (author of 42 books, including The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season (2021), which profiles Longwood University basketball coach Griff Aldrich among others):

Aldrich 1It wasn’t until there were 63 seconds left and his team had a 21-point lead Sunday afternoon that Griff Aldrich finally admitted the inevitable: His team was going to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament for the first time. ...

One of the people least surprised to see Aldrich’s demeanor was his best friend from college, Utah State Coach Ryan Odom, who calls him “a nervous Nellie.”

“It’s part of who he is,” Odom said by phone Sunday. “He’s always prepared. He’s always worried about something that isn’t perfect. He’s really passionate. But his most important quality is that he’s always been concerned first with having a positive effect on his players’ lives.”

That may sound like coaching pablum, but Aldrich has lived by that creed since he was practicing law and coaching AAU basketball in Houston — before a dramatic career change that culminated with Sunday’s win.

So there were a lot more hugs and some tears when Longwood finished off its 79-58 victory over perennial Big South power Winthrop to claim the conference’s tournament title. The Lancers are 26-6 and have won 19 of their past 20 games. They will be at best a No. 15 seed when the brackets go up this coming Sunday. ...

Aldrich and the Lancers should get plenty of attention when the tournament begins next week. Part of it will be that they are on this stage for the first time. More of it will be Aldrich, whose story is unlike that of any coach in the tournament. ...

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March 13, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times Op-Ed: We’re All Sinners, And Accepting That Is Actually A Good Thing

New York Times Op-Ed:  We’re All Sinners, and Accepting That Is Actually a Good Thing, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3This is the first Sunday of Lent, a season in preparation for Easter when Christians often focus on sin and repentance. One of the things that’s most difficult to swallow about Christianity is the idea that normal, nice people are sinners, that we are born sinful and can’t elude being a sinner by being moral or religious enough. ...

In college, through a string of failed relationships and theological questioning, I came to understand sin as something more fundamental than rule breaking, more subtle and “under the hood” of my consciousness. It was the ways I would casually manipulate people to get my way. It was a hidden but obnoxious need for approval. It was that part of me that could not rejoice in a friend’s big award or accomplishment, even as some other part told her, “Congratulations!” ...

Far from being a crushing blow of self-hatred, the realization of my actual, non-theoretical sinfulness came with something like a recognition of grace. I saw that I was worse than I’d thought I was, and that truth knocked me off the eternal treadmill of trying to be better and do better and get it all right. It allowed me to slowly (and continually) learn to receive love, atonement, forgiveness and mercy.

Every week now in church, I kneel with my congregation and admit, in the words of the Anglican liturgy, that I have sinned against God, “in thought, word and deed” by what I have done and by what I have left undone, that I have not loved God with my whole heart and have not loved my neighbor as myself. With my whole community around me, week in and week out, I admit ... that I have broken stuff, including other people and myself with my human propensity to, ahem, mess things up. ...

I noticed how strange and transformative it is to repeatedly identify myself as a sinner. I am not identified primarily as a mother, a writer, a woman or a priest. I am not primarily a Democrat or a Republican or a Christian. I am also not primarily an upstanding citizen or right or reasonable or talented or “on the right side of history.” Instead, again and again, in these received words, I call myself a sinner.

This recognizes that I will get much wrong. That as a writer, I’ll say things, however unintentionally, that are untrue and unhelpful. As a mother, I will harm my children — the people I love and want to do right by most in the world. And it tells me that I will harm them in real ways, not just dismissible “well, shucks, we all make mistakes” kind of ways. As a priest, I will lead people astray. I will not live up to what I proclaim. I will fail. I will hurt people, not just in theory or abstraction. I will cause true harm.

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March 13, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Indiana-McKinney Law School Hosts Inaugural Conference: Law vs. Antisemitism

Indiana-McKinney Law School Special Event, Law vs. Antisemitism: Inaugural Conference (March 14-15):

IndianaAntisemitism is more than a hatred and a practice — it's legal phenomenon. Join legal scholars and experts at the Law vs. Antisemitism Inaugural Conference as they discuss how law has been used both to perpetrate and to combat antisemitism, historically and today.   US law in particular has been used to fight antisemitism through the constitutional separation of church and state, anti-discrimination laws, and “hate crimes” laws, among other means.  Despite these laws, there has been a recent resurgence in anti-Jewish violence and antisemitism more generally, ranging from online hate speech to cemetery desecration to attacks on synagogues.  What does this tell us about the efficacy of law in combating antisemitism?

The Conference will be held at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law on March 14-15, 2022, and will be broadcast live online.  It will consist of the panels and speakers listed below. 

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March 13, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, March 12, 2022

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Four Days Before Pre-Release Of New U.S. News Grad School Rankings, Former Temple Dean Sentenced To 14 Months In Federal Prison For Rankings Fraud

A cautionary note four days before the pre-release of the new 2023 U.S. News graduate school rankings:  Philadelphia Inquirer, Temple’s Former Business School Dean Was Sentenced to 14 Months in Rankings Scandal Fraud:

US News Grad Schools (2022)The former dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison Friday for orchestrating a complex fraud scheme to propel his college to the top of national rankings and defraud its students and donors based on that unearned reputation.

Moshe Porat — who led the school for more than two decades until he was fired for the misrepresentations in 2018 — did not apologize or even acknowledge the students harmed by his crimes as he addressed the judge moments before his punishment was announced. Instead, he pleaded with U.S. District Judge Gerald J. Pappert to keep him out of prison so he could care for his ailing wife.

Pappert balked, calling Porat’s obsession with driving the Fox School of Business to the No. 1 spot “maniacal” and marveled that he had spent much of Friday’s hearing smirking and muttering under his breath.

“He still doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He has never accepted any responsibility,” the judge said. “He blames everyone else.” ...

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March 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Black 3L Says White Deputy Mistook Her For A Criminal Defendant When She Tried To Enter Courtroom To Represent Client Of Law School's Clinic

Boston Globe, Black Law Student Says Rhode Island Deputy Mistook Her For a Defendant:

A Black student at the Roger Williams University School of Law says a white sheriff’s deputy mistook her for a defendant when she tried to enter a courtroom to represent a client as part of the school’s criminal defense clinic.

Third-year law student Brooklyn Crockton posted a TikTok video about the experience soon after it happened last week, and now it has gone viral.

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March 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, March 11, 2022

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week’s Tax Workshops

Tax Workshops (Big)Wednesday, March 16: Erin Scharff (Arizona State) will present Fake News and the Tax Law as part of the Toronto James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop. If you would like to attend, please contact Robert Lines

Thursday, March 17: Jeffrey Kahn (Florida State) will present Taxing Tort Damages: Do Juries Care? (with John Lopatka (Penn State-University Park)) as part of the Duke Tax Policy Seminar. If you would like to attend, please contact Lawrence Zelenak

Thursday, March 17: Marcel Olbert (London Business School; Google Scholar) will present Real Effects of Private Country-by-Country Disclosure (with Lisa De Simone (Texas; Google Scholar)) as part of the OMG Transatlantic Tax Talks Series (OMG = Oxford-Michigan-MIT-Munich-Georgetown). There is no need to register for this event.

Friday, March 18: Martin Gilens (UCLA) will present Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens (with Benjamin Page (Northwestern; Google Scholar)) as part of the Oxford-Virginia Legal Dialogs. If you would like to attend, register here.

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March 11, 2022 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Hamilton & Organ: Law School Learning Outcomes

Neil W. Hamilton (St. Thomas-MN; Google Scholar) & Jerome M. Organ (St. Thomas-MN), Learning Outcomes that Law Schools Have Adopted: Seizing the Opportunity to Help Students, Legal Employers, Clients, and the Law School, 69 J. Legal Educ. __ (2022):

Journal of Legal Education (2022)Over the next several years, legal education’s movement toward learning outcomes and better assessment offers an excellent opportunity for proactive law schools to realize substantial benefits for their students and the schools themselves. Students and graduates with strong evidence of later-stage development of competencies in addition to the standard cognitive “thinking like a lawyer” skills will have higher probabilities of good post-graduation outcomes that will help the students, clients, legal employers, the school, and the legal system. Law schools that are proactive early leaders will be rewarded.

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March 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Protecting The P(ocket)UBLIC: Why The Legal Professions Regulation/Shmegulation Is Truly Just All About The Benjamins

Barnett Harris (J.D. 2021, Georgetown), Protecting the P(ocket)UBLIC: Why the Legal Professions Regulation/Shmegulation Is Truly Just All About the Benjamins, 12 Hous. L. Rev. Online __ (2022):

In 1972, there was a proposal presented to the American Bar Association, which would have eased up just one of the stringent barriers to the practice of law. The proposal would have cleared the way for law schools to offer a two-year law degree program. It failed. Scholars, practitioners, and even members of the Supreme Court have argued that the current level of regulation of the legal profession is unjustified. Regulators of the legal profession continuously expand the practice of law, thereby continuously reducing who may provide these services. While arising from noble intentions, regulators’ insistence on stringently regulating the legal profession in such a way exacerbates the access to justice crisis the same regulations created.

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March 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, March 10, 2022

D.C. Circuit Revives COVID Tuition Refund Lawsuits Against American, George Washington Universities

Inside Higher Ed, Appeals Court Revives COVID Lawsuits Against American, George Washington Universities:

Two separate lawsuits against American University and George Washington University have new life after an appeals court revived cases that allege both institutions violated contractual obligations to students when they shifted to online instruction in early 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic [Qureshi v. American University, No. 21-7064 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 8, 2022); Shaffer v. George Washington University, No. 21-7040 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 8, 2022)].

At the core of the issue is the refusal of both universities to refund students’ tuition and fees. The plaintiffs allege that both universities had a contractual commitment to provide in-person education and should have offered at least partial tuition and fee refunds for students forced into online classes. Plaintiffs in both cases are seeking class action status for their lawsuits.

The lawsuits against American University and GWU are just two among dozens of similar suits filed by students and families since 2020, which have had various outcomes in courts across the United States.

In a partial reversal of the lower court’s decision to dismiss the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit found that while the plaintiffs had not proven that the universities breached specific contractual obligations, the complaints “plausibly allege that the Universities breached implied-in-fact contracts” to provide in-person education and access to certain campus activities. One such example on the latter point was the lack of access to American University’s sports complex during the early days of the pandemic, which the court noted is open to use for any registered student at AU.

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March 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Florida Senate Passes ‘Markel’ Grandparent Visitation Bill

Florida Politics, Florida Grandparents Score Major Win, With Assist From Johnston & Stewart:

Markel & ParentsThe issue: expanding the rights of Florida grandparents to connect with their grandchildren following tragedy — an effort inspired by the 2014 murder of FSU law professor Dan Markel that left his two young children estranged from his grieving parents, even after his ex-wife Wendi Adelson and members of her family were named by law enforcement as co-conspirators in his killing.

Under Florida law, Markel’s parents could not even petition courts to seek visitation with their grandchildren, which led allies ...  to seek a legislative remedy. ...

Today, the Senate unanimously passed what has become informally known as the “Markel Act” — HB 1119 by Rep. Jackie Toledo and companion SB 1408 by Sen. Keith Perry, marking one of this Session’s major bipartisan victories. The House bill passed with a vote of 112-3. ...

Dan’s mother Ruth Markel, in response to today’s vote, offered praise in all directions.

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March 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Deans, Provosts, And Presidents?

Steven Zhou (PhD Student in Organizational Psychology, George Mason), The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Administrators?:

Academics sometimes have a bit of an unfortunate reputation of being big picture thinkers, with our heads in the clouds (or ivory tower) and disconnected from the realities of everyday life. ... Why, then, do we expect people who excel at being an academic to turn around later in their careers and lead the “business” side of the institution?

It seems like quite the bait-and-switch: faculty are hired for their skills in research and/or teaching, only to be expected later to shift gears entirely and employ a completely different set of skills — ones that they may not actually possess — in leading the institution (aka academic administration). ...

[S]ome faculty stay where they are as purely a research and teaching faculty member, but the upward career mobility is limited after one has achieved tenure and “Full Professor” rank. And certainly, there are some people who pursue an administrative faculty career without going through the research tenure process, but it is rare and nearly impossible to obtain top leadership positions (such as Provost) without having received tenure first.

This is how the system has been set up as a bait-and-switch that hires and promotes faculty for research and/or teaching, but then expects them to lead and administrate. However, the skill sets required are completely different. ...

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March 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

High Point University To Open Law School In 2024; Dean Has Been Hired And Will Be Announced In May

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Work-Life Balance And The Need To Give Law Students A Break

Jonathan Todres (Georgia State; Google Scholar), Work-Life Balance and the Need to Give Law Students a Break, 1 U. Pitt. L. Rev. Online __ (2022):

It has long been understood that joining, and staying in, the legal profession is not good for one’s health. Research shows that attorneys experience alcoholism, depression, and other mental health issues at higher rates than the general population. Similarly, there is significant research showing the detrimental effects of law school on many students’ well-being. We have known for years that students’ happiness and well-being tends to decline over their law school years, yet the response by most law schools has been patchwork, slow, and largely reactive. An unhealthy work-life balance remains the norm. This essay calls on law schools to do more to create a climate and culture in which students can achieve a healthier work-life balance. While there are a range of issues that need to be addressed, this essay focuses on the specific issue of law school culture discouraging taking time off.

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March 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

An Empirical Study Of The Effects Of Mindfulness Training On Law Students

Charity Scott (Georgia State; Google Scholar) & Paul Verhaeghen (Georgia Tech; Google Scholar), Calming down and Waking Up: An Empirical Study of the Effects of Mindfulness Training on Law Students, 21 Nev. L.J. 277 (2020):

This Article discusses efforts to address directly the crisis in the mental health and well-being of law students by providing training in mindfulness. It describes an empirical study of three offerings of mindfulness training at a law school and reports its results in reducing law students’ stress (“calming down”) and providing other benefits, such as increased self-awareness (“waking up”) and its corollaries in various aspects of emotional, personal, and interpersonal well-being. Key findings include positive benefits in: lowering perceived stress
and reactivity to triggers causing stress; increasing self-reported focus and concentration; improving the ability to reframe one’s outlook (and thus resilience); increasing self-compassion and self-acceptance (thereby taming the severe “inner critic” prevalent in many high-achieving law students and lawyers); and strengthening students’ mindfulness generally, which has been shown in research from other fields to positively affect many dimensions of health and well-being.

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March 9, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

University Of Missouri Defends President's Right To Cut Faculty Pay 25%

Inside Higher Ed, Mizzou Defends President's Right to Cut Faculty Pay 25%:

Missouri Logo (2020)In the COVID-19–induced chaos of spring 2020, the University of Missouri system quietly added a section to its rules and regulations that allows for individual tenured faculty salaries to be cut by up to 25 percent. This could be for productivity, enrollment or other reasons.

[F. Criteria-Based Salary Reductions for Tenured Faculty: Each chancellor may approve and implement criteria for reducing salaries of faculty members on continuous appointments. Criteria may be established by the chancellor on a university-wide basis, or they may be developed by a college, school, department, or other similar unit for use within that unit and submitted to the chancellor for approval.
1. Criteria must rely on published departmental standards for satisfactory performance or objective and documented indicators of productivity, budget, enrollment or workload needs. Criteria must be developed and applied so that salary reductions will apply on an equitable basis to similarly situated faculty members and will not be used to single out individuals.
2. A faculty member will be notified by the department chair or dean of the amount of any salary reduction, when it will go into effect, and the reason for the reduction based on the established criteria. The faculty member may seek review of the reduction by submitting a written request to the provost within 5 days of being notified. The provost will approve, deny, or modify the salary reduction.
3. The salary reduction may not be more than 25 percent. If it is 10 percent or more, it will be accompanied by a commensurate reduction in FTE if requested by the faculty member.
4. A salary reduction based in whole or in part on performance or productivity criteria will go into effect no earlier than the beginning of the next academic year. A salary reduction based only on criteria concerning budget, enrollment or workload needs can go into effect in the pay period following notice to the faculty member.]

The rule change went largely unnoticed for a year, until news broke last summer that the School of Medicine at the university’s flagship campus at Columbia, or Mizzou, planned to slash multiple professors' salaries by 10 to 25 percent following productivity reviews.

According to information from Mizzou, fewer than 10 professors in three programs—medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture—have been affected to date. But the system expects that more professors will see pay cuts as additional academic units adopt criteria for evaluating professors under the new policy.

Alarmed by this policy shift, both in substance and how it was adopted, system professors have been fighting it for months.

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March 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

BigLaw Tax Lawyer Is Suspended After Trying To 'Power Through' Depression

Michael S. Frisch (Georgetown), BigLaw Pressures:

Morgan_Lewis (2022)An attorney who had neglected a tax appeal, failed to communicate with the client, made misrepresentations to cover up the neglect and filed two false affidavits has been suspended for a year and a day by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The attorney's misconduct occurred while employed at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. ...

The matter involved a tax assessment appeal to the Department of Revenue Board of Appeals. The firm conducted an internal investigations after the client raised concerns.

ABA Journal, Former BigLaw Lawyer Who Wrongly Thought He Could 'Power Through' Depression Gets Suspension:

[Daniel Michael] Dixon said he couldn’t get over the anxiety of potentially losing his job, so he tried to fix his mistake and then made things worse by being dishonest.

He told the committee that he had suffered from depression and anxiety after a breakup with his wife in 2013. He said he was “in no way prepared” to handle the position at Morgan Lewis when he accepted the job in 2016.

Dixon “testified that he ‘oversold’ his ability to be a practice group leader in the state and local tax area and was not prepared to come into the firm and build a team,” according to the disciplinary board report.

In hindsight, Dixon thought that he should have taken more time off to address his mental health issues before accepting the position at Morgan Lewis.

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March 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Texas A&M Hosts Free Virtual Pop-Up Class Today On The Situation In Ukraine

Poip-up Class UkraineTexas A&M Law School is hosting a free Pop-Up Class on The Situation in Ukraine at noon CT (Zoom link):

Professors Charlotte Ku and Cynthia Alkon will address this timely topic from the perspective of International Law, human rights concerns, and experiences living and working in the region (Poland and Belarus) for several years.

  • Background & legal implications
  • Does international law apply?
  • The roles of NATO & EU?
  • Are sanctions the answer?
  • Q & A | Discussion

March 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink