Paul L. Caron
Dean





Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Top Five New Tax Papers

This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list. The #1 paper is #244 among 15,878 tax papers in all-time downloads:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018) [1,382 Downloads]  The Impact of Public Perceptions on General Consumption Taxes, by Rita de la Feria (University of Leeds; Google Scholar) & Michael Walpole (University of New South Wales; Google Scholar)
  2. [541 Downloads]  Tax Complexity and Transfer Pricing Blueprints, Guidelines, and Manuals, by Jean-Edouard Colliard (HEC Paris; Google Scholar), Lorraine Eden (Texas A&M; Google Scholar) & Co-Pierre Georg (University of Cape Town; Google Scholar)
  3. [325 Downloads]  Inter-Nation Equity Revisited, by Ivan Ozai (McGill; Google Scholar) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here)
  4. [299 Downloads]  A Wealth of Sovereign Choices: Tax Implications of McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Promise of Tribal Economic Development, by Stacy Leeds (Arizona State; Google Scholar) & Lonnie Beard (Arkansas)
  5. [237 Downloads]  Coca-Cola: A Decisive IRS Transfer Pricing Victory, At Last, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) & Gianluca Mazzoni (S.J.D. (International Tax) 2020, Michigan)

April 4, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, April 3, 2021

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

The U.S. News Law School Rankings Failed Diversity 101

Vivia Chen (Bloomberg Law), Why U.S. News & World Report Failed Diversity 101:

US News Logo 2Its foray into law school diversity ranking has been a fiasco. Is this emblematic of how even some sophisticated institutions mishandle diversity?

This is not the most politic thing to say but here I go: We should stop putting old White men in charge of decisions about diversity.

I know that’s a comment that will raise eyebrows but that was my gut reaction when I heard about U.S. News & World Report’s embarrassing foray into law school diversity. That august publication just came out with its latest law school rankings, and this year’s birth was a bit of a disaster. And yes, the chieftain behind the enterprise happens to be an older White guy. ...

The effort at U.S. News also started off with good intentions. For the first time, U.S. News decided to launch a diversity scorecard based on racial and ethnic data provided by the nation’s law schools.

Then, it went off the rails. For unexplained reasons, it dropped both Asian and multiracial students from its diversity count. Law schools protested, and U.S. News recategorized Asian students as diverse. However, it continued to omit multiracial students, prompting 162 law school deans to pen a letter dated March 24 to U.S. News in protest. ...

Good grief. Does anyone at U.S. News, which commands a fearsome empire that decides the prestige of higher education institutions worldwide, need this memo that multiracial people and Asians aren’t White? ...

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April 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

NY Times: An Accidental Disclosure Exposes A $1 Billion IRS Tax Fight With Bristol Myers

New York Times, An Accidental Disclosure Exposes a $1 Billion Tax Fight With Bristol Myers:

BMSThe I.R.S. believes the American drugmaker used an abusive offshore scheme to avoid federal taxes.

Almost nine years ago, Bristol Myers Squibb filed paperwork in Ireland to create a new offshore subsidiary. By moving Bristol Myers’s profits through the subsidiary, the American drugmaker could substantially reduce its U.S. tax bill.

Years later, the Internal Revenue Service got wind of the arrangement, which it condemned as an “abusive” tax shelter. The move by Bristol Myers, the I.R.S. concluded, would cheat the United States out of about $1.4 billion in taxes.

That is a lot of money, even for a large company like Bristol Myers. But the dispute remained secret. The company, which denies wrongdoing, didn’t tell its investors that the U.S. government was claiming more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes. The I.R.S. didn’t make any public filings about it.

And then, ever so briefly last spring, the dispute became public. It was an accident, and almost no one noticed. The episode provided a fleeting glimpse into something that is common but rarely seen up close and that the Biden administration hopes to discourage: multinational companies, with the help of elite law and accounting firms and with only belated scrutiny from the I.R.S., dodging billions of dollars in taxes. 

Then, in an instant, all traces of the fight — and of Bristol Myers’s allegedly abusive arrangement — vanished from public view.

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April 3, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Why It Matters That More Law Reviews Are Electing Black Editors

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Karen Sloan (Law.com), 'A More Diverse Conversation': Why It Matters That More Law Journals Are Electing Black Editors:

[There are] at least nine first-ever Black editors-in-chief to be elected to lead flagship law journals during the 2021-22 academic year. Data compiled by several law professors show that’s the single-largest cohort of inaugural Black editors on record, and that a trend of Black students ascending to the role that began around 2013 has accelerated. Experts attribute that rise to multiple factors, including a greater awareness among law students of systemic racism and internal bias, and the greater visibility of non-white students assuming leadership roles on campus.

Regardless of the reason behind the shift, professors and students alike agree that the rise of Black editors-in-chief and, more broadly, top editors from diverse backgrounds, is an important development for legal education and the profession. First, having that position on their resume opens career opportunities for diverse students, giving them a leg up in snagging competitive and desirable positions such as federal clerkships. (Recall that Barack Obama was the first Black editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review.) But the ascension of diverse law review editors also has implications beyond individual students. Seeing a diverse top editor will likely prompt other students from underrepresented groups to pursue law journal and leadership positions on campus, students and professors say. ...

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

Friday, April 2, 2021

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Elkins Reviews Lucas's The Pain of Paying Taxes

This week, David Elkins (Netanya) reviews a new article by Gary Lucas, Jr. (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), The Pain of Paying Taxes, 56 Richmond L. Rev. __ (2021) (forthcoming):

Elkins (2018)

The financing of government spending (and in particular the financing of transfer payments) by taxation has been analogized in the literature to the carrying of water in a leaky bucket. In many cases, the amount received by the beneficiaries of the spending program will be less than the cost imposed upon the taxpayers. Under standard economic modeling, the sources of the leak include compliance costs, administrative costs, and the substitution effect (which occurs when taxpayers alter their behavior in order to avoid the tax or to minimize their tax liability). In a fascinating article, Professor Lucas argues that the leak may be larger than we thought. Leaving aside Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous declaration that he does not mind paying taxes because taxes are the cost of a civilized society, people do not like to pay taxes. The psychological pain associated with paying taxes reduces social welfare and can also exaggerate the substitution effect.

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April 2, 2021 in David Elkins, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Next Week's Virtual Tax Workshops

Tuesday, April 6: Kristin Hickman (Minnesota; Google Scholar) will present An Overlooked Dimension to OIRA Review of Tax Regulatory Actions virtually at Florida State as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jeffrey Kahn.

Tuesday, April 6: Neil Buchanan (Florida; Google Scholar) will present Social Security is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger Americans virtually at Duke as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact  Richard Schmalbeck or Lawrence Zelenak.

Wednesday, April 7: Daniel Hemel (Chicago; Google Scholar) will present Regulation and Redistribution with Lives in the Balance virtually at Toronto as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Angeliki Zacharakis.

Wednesday, April 7: Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) will present Applying Section 265 to Address an Opaque Foreign Income Subsidy virtually at Boston College as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series. If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Repetti.

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April 2, 2021 in Colloquia, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings include the dispute resolution programs at 111 law schools (the faculty survey had a 49% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.4 Harvard
2 4.3 Ohio State
3 4.2 Pepperdine Caruso
4 4.0 Missouri (Columbia)
5 3.9 Mitchell-Hamline
5 3.9 UNLV
7 3.8 Northwestern
8 3.7 Cardozo
8 3.7 Marquette
8 3.7 Texas A&M
8 3.7 UC-Hastings
12 3.6 Oregon
13 3.5 Arizona State
13 3.5 Stanford
15 3.4 Columbia
15 3.4 Maryland
17 3.3 Fordham
18 3.2 Creighton
19 3.1 Quinnipiac
19 3.1 South Texas
19 3.1 Texas
19 3.1 Univ. of Washington
19 3.1 Washington Univ.
24 3.0 Florida
24 3.0 George Washington
24 3.0 Georgetown
24 3.0 St. John's
24 3.0 Stetson
24 3.0 UC-Davis
24 3.0 UC-Irvine
24 3.0 USC
32 2.9 Michigan
32 2.9 NYU
32 2.9 Penn
32 2.9 Suffolk
32 2.9 UC-Berkeley
32 2.9 UCLA
32 2.9 Vanderbilt
32 2.9 Virginia
32 2.9 Yale
41 2.8 Boston College
41 2.8 Denver
41 2.8 UIC-John Marshall
41 2.8 Wisconsin
45 2.7 Cornell
45 2.7 Loyola-Chicago
45 2.7 Kansas
48 2.6 Baltimore
48 2.6 Loyola-L.A.
48 2.6 Minnesota
48 2.6 Pacific

2021 U.S. News Dispute Resolution Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 2, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Criminal Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Criminal Law Rankings include the criminal law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 57% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.5 NYU
2 4.3 Harvard
2 4.3 UC-Berkeley
4 4.2 Stanford
4 4.2 Virginia
4 4.2 Yale
7 4.1 Columbia
7 4.1 Georgetown
7 4.1 Penn
10 4.0 Chicago
10 4.0 Michigan
10 4.0 UCLA
13 3.9 Duke
13 3.9 Northwestern
13 3.9 Ohio State
13 3.9 Vanderbilt
17 3.8 Texas
18 3.7 Fordham
18 3.7 Minnesota
18 3.7 North Carolina
18 3.7 William & Mary
22 3.6 Cornell
23 3.5 American
23 3.5 Boston Univ.
23 3.5 UC-Davis
23 3.5 Cardozo
27 3.4 Brooklyn
27 3.4 George Washington
27 3.4 UC-Irvine
30 3.3 Arizona State
30 3.3 UC-Hastings
30 3.3 Utah
30 3.3 Wisconsin
30 3.3 Wake Forest
30 3.3 Washington Univ.
36 3.2 Colorado
36 3.2 Denver
36 3.2 Loyola-L.A.
36 3.2 Univ. of Washington
40 3.1 Alabama
40 3.1 Arizona
40 3.1 Emory
40 3.1 Florida State
40 3.1 Georgia
40 3.1 Illinois
40 3.1 Indiana (Maurer)
40 3.1 Iowa
40 3.1 San Diego
40 3.1 USC
50 3.0 Boston College
50 3.0 Florida
50 3.0 Howard
50 3.0 Maryland
50 3.0 Miami
50 3.0 Northeastern
50 3.0 Richmond
50 3.0 SMU
50 3.0 Tulane
50 3.0 Washington & Lee

2021 U.S. News Criminal Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 2, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Update On San Diego Law School's Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post

Following up on my previous post, San Diego Law School Launches Investigation Of Tenured Professor's Blog Post; Student Petition Calls For Professor's Termination:

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

Dan Markel's Parents Are Unable To Convince Florida Lawmakers To Give Grandparents Visitation Rights As Other States Do

News4Jax, Florida Grandparent Visitation Rights on Hold:

Markel & ParentsAfter an hour-long workshop on grandparents’ rights, the message from Florida lawmakers to grandparents in jail being denied access to their grandchildren is “we sympathize”.

But lawmakers say grandparents will have to wait at least another year for legislation that could allow some to see their grandchildren.

FSU Law Professor Dan Markel was murdered in his garage seven years ago this July. For Ruth Markel, Dan’s mother, one tragedy sparked another.

“Our son’s ex-wife cut off contact between us and his two children,” said Markel.

In video testimony before a Senate committee, Ruth called the separation painful.

“But unlike in most other states, Florida law doesn’t allow us to petition the courts for visitation,” said Markel.

Florida law says grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren only if both parents are dead or if one parent is dead and the other has been convicted of a felony.

Neither is the case for Phil and Ruth Markel.

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

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Leiter: U.S. News Issues 4th 'Corrected' Law School Rankings

US News Logo 2Brian Leiter (Chicago), US News Releases Yet a 4th "Corrected" Ranking, Retracting the One Issued on Tuesday!:

According to a statement from US News.com editor Bob Morse: ... 

These revisions changed the rank of every law school, excerpt Mercer (which remained at #127). Yale even dropped from #1 to #14. The full revised rankings are here.

April 1, 2021 in Law School, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Galle & Shay Present Admin Law And The Crisis Of Tax Administration Virtually Today At Indiana

Brian Galle (Georgetown; Google Scholar) & Stephen Shay (Boston College; Google Scholar) present Admin Law and the Crisis of Tax Administration virtually at Indiana today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

Galle shayEven as the modern IRS is struggling to do its job,  guardrails around adopting tax rules have been evolving to make IRS action slower, costlier, more sclerotic. As administrative law scholars have long recognized, procedural rules favor the status quo over new rules. In the case of the IRS, they favor existing rules over updated or revised rules and non-enforcement over enforcement.  For most tax administration, we argue, this bias is more dramatic, and more damaging, than in regulatory areas where the public has some recourse when an agency is silent. These effects are sometimes called a bias in favor of “inaction.” 

When translated to tax, the law’s bias towards inaction becomes a tilt against revenue and against the poor.

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April 1, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Christians & Lederman: An Important Tax Tip & #WhyTakeTax?

Professors Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Maurer) and Allison Christians (McGill) released 2 new videos today on their Break Into Tax YouTube channel.

The first of today’s videos, One Weird Tip To Save a Bundle in Taxes, shares a breakthrough of universal interest. That video will likely be widely shared, so be among the first to see it!

The second Break Into Tax video, Why Take Tax? The Top Ten Reasons, counts down reasons why students should consider taking a tax class. It includes cameo appearances by many tax professors and other experts, sharing insights gained over many decades. Don’t miss the debut of the “Christians & Lederman Top 10 List”!

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April 1, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Will Law Schools Require Students To Be Vaccinated In The Fall?

Josh Blackman (South Texas), Will Law Schools Require Students to be Vaccinated?:

I can see a world where in-person instruction is limited to vaccinated students, and those who refuse to be vaccinated will stay on Zoom.

Last week, Rutgers University announced that returning students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy states that "Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons." The scope of those exemptions, however, is unclear.

As we speak, law schools are no doubt holding discussions about whether they can impose vaccine mandates.

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

2022 U.S. News Contracts/Commercial Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Contracts/Commercial Law Rankings include the contracts/commercial law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 48% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.7 Columbia
2 4.6 Chicago
2 4.6 Harvard
4 4.5 Yale
5 4.4 Penn
5 4.4 Stanford
7 4.3 Michigan
7 4.3 NYU
7 4.3 UC-Berkeley
7 4.3 Virginia
11 4.2 Georgetown
11 4.2 Texas
13 4.1 Cornell
13 4.1 Duke
13 4.1 Northwestern
13 4.1 UCLA
17 3.8 Vanderbilt
18 3.7 Illinois
18 3.7 Minnesota
18 3.7 North Carolina
18 3.7 Ohio State
22 3.6 Emory
23 3.5 Fordham
23 3.5 USC
23 3.5 Washington Univ.
26 3.4 Alabama
26 3.4 Boston Univ.
26 3.4 George Washington
26 3.4 Indiana (Maurer)
26 3.4 UC-Davis
26 3.4 Univ. of Washington
26 3.4 William & Mary
26 3.4 Wisconsin
34 3.3 Boston College
34 3.3 Brooklyn
34 3.3 Florida
34 3.3 Tulane
34 3.3 UC-Hastings
34 3.3 UC-Irvine
34 3.3 Washington & Lee
41 3.2 Georgia
41 3.2 Iowa
41 3.2 Notre Dame
41 3.2 Wake Forest
45 3.1 Arizona State
45 3.1 Cardozo
45 3.1 Colorado
45 3.1 Florida State
45 3.1 George Mason
45 3.1 Houston
45 3.1 San Diego
45 3.1 UNLV

2021 U.S. News Contracts/Commercial Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 1, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Constitutional Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Constitutional Law Rankings include the constitutional law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 52% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.8 Harvard
1 4.8 Yale
3 4.6 Chicago
3 4.6 NYU
3 4.6 Stanford
6 4.5 Columbia
6 4.5 UC-Berkeley
8 4.4 Virginia
9 4.2 Duke
9 4.2 Georgetown
9 4.2 Texas
9 4.2 UCLA
13 4.1 Cornell
13 4.1 Michigan
15 4.0 Northwestern
15 4.0 Penn
17 3.6 Vanderbilt
18 3.5 UC-Davis
18 3.5 William & Mary
20 3.4 North Carolina
20 3.4 San Diego
20 3.4 UC-Irvine
20 3.4 Washington Univ.
24 3.3 Boston Univ.
24 3.3 Emory
24 3.3 Notre Dame
27 3.2 Alabama
27 3.2 George Washington
27 3.2 Minnesota
27 3.2 Ohio State
27 3.2 USC
27 3.2 Wisconsin
33 3.1 Fordham
33 3.1 UC-Hastings
35 3.0 Arizona
35 3.0 Arizona State
35 3.0 Boston College
35 3.0 Georgia
35 3.0 Illinois
35 3.0 Iowa
41 2.9 Brooklyn
41 2.9 Cardozo
41 2.9 Florida State
41 2.9 George Mason
41 2.9 Maryland
46 2.8 Colorado
46 2.8 Florida
46 2.8 Georgia State
46 2.8 Miami
46 2.8 Tulane
46 2.8 Univ. of Washington

2021 U.S. News Constitutional Law Rankings

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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April 1, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Texas Dean Hosts Virtual Discussion Today On Rebellion, Rascals, And Revenue: Tax Follies And Wisdom Through The Ages

Joel Slemrod and Michael Keen with Interim Dean Mills on Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages Thursday April 1, 2021 at 4 PM CST (Zoom link):

Michael Keen (IMF) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan; Google Scholar), Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages (Princeton University Press 2021):

RascalsAn engaging and enlightening account of taxation told through lively, dramatic, and sometimes ludicrous stories drawn from around the world and across the ages.

Governments have always struggled to tax in ways that are effective and tolerably fair. Sometimes they fail grotesquely, as when, in 1898, the British ignited a rebellion in Sierra Leone by imposing a tax on huts—and, in repressing it, ended up burning the very huts they intended to tax. Sometimes they succeed astonishingly, as when, in eighteenth-century Britain, a cut in the tax on tea massively increased revenue. In this entertaining book, two leading authorities on taxation, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod, provide a fascinating and informative tour through these and many other episodes in tax history, both preposterous and dramatic—from the plundering described by Herodotus and an Incan tax payable in lice to the (misremembered) Boston Tea Party and the scandals of the Panama Papers. Along the way, readers meet a colorful cast of tax rascals, and even a few tax heroes.

While it is hard to fathom the inspiration behind such taxes as one on ships that tended to make them sink, Keen and Slemrod show that yesterday’s tax systems have more in common with ours than we may think. Georgian England’s window tax now seems quaint, but was an ingenious way of judging wealth unobtrusively. And Tsar Peter the Great’s tax on beards aimed to induce the nobility to shave, much like today’s carbon taxes aim to slow global warming.

Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue is a surprising and one-of-a-kind account of how history illuminates the perennial challenges and timeless principles of taxation—and how the past holds clues to solving the tax problems of today.

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April 1, 2021 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Subscribing To TaxProf Blog

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

Socioeconomic Roots Of Tenure-Track Faculty

Allison Morgan, Nicholas LaBerge, Daniel Larremore, Mirta Galesic & Aaron Clauset (Colorado), Socioeconomic Roots of Academic Faculty:

Tenure-track faculty play a special role in society: they train future researchers, and they produce much of the scholarship that drives scientifc, technological, and social innovation. However, the professoriate has never been demographically representative of the general population it serves. For example in the United States, Black and Hispanic scholars are underrepresented across the tenure-track, and while women's representation has increased over time, they remain a minority in many academic fields. Here we investigate the representativeness of faculty childhood socioeconomic status and whether it may implicitly limit efforts to diversify the professoriate in terms of race, gender, and geography. Using a survey of 7218 professors in PhD-granting departments in the United States across eight disciplines in STEM, social sciences, and the humanities, we find that the estimated median childhood household income among faculty is 23.7% higher than the general public, and faculty are 25 times more likely to have a parent with a PhD.

Socio 1

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

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

Income Inequality In America Is Lower Than It Was 50 Years Ago

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Incredible Shrinking Income Inequality, by Phil Gramm & John Early:

Its rise is an illusion created by the Census Bureau’s failure to account for taxes and welfare.

The refrain is all too familiar: Widening income inequality is a fatal flaw in capitalism and an “existential” threat to democracy. From 1967 to 2017, income inequality in the U.S. spiked 21.4%, and everyone from U.S. senators to the pope says it’s an urgent problem. Yet the data upon which claims about income inequality are based are profoundly flawed.

We have shown on these pages that Census Bureau income data fail to count two-thirds of all government transfer payments—including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and some 100 other government transfer payments—as income to the recipients. Furthermore, census data fail to count taxes paid as income lost to the taxpayer. When official government data are used to correct these deficiencies—when income is defined the way people actually define it—“income inequality” is reduced dramatically.

We can now show that if you count all government transfers (minus administrative costs) as income to the recipient household, reduce household income by taxes paid, and correct for two major discontinuities in the time-series data on income inequality that were caused solely by changes in Census Bureau data-collection methods, the claim that income inequality is growing on a secular basis collapses. Not only is income inequality in America not growing, it is lower today than it was 50 years ago. ...

WSJ

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April 1, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

National Tax Association 114th Annual Conference Call for Papers: Improving The Safety Net

NTA

114th Annual National Tax Association Conference Call for Papers: Improving the Safety Net:

November 18-20, 2021
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
Detroit, Michigan

We are planning to hold the 114th Annual Conference in person should health guidelines permit.  The NTA staff will continually monitor the health and government mandates and will abide by their recommendations regarding in-person events.

The 114th Annual Conference on Taxation will cover a broad range of topics in tax policy and public finance. We welcome submissions from the fields of accounting, economics, law, and public policy, as well as research from other fields that bears on these topics.

Motivated by the important role of public assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and by the discussions of policy reform occurring during the early days of the Biden administration, the theme of this year’s conference is “Improving the U.S. Safety Net.” Keynote speakers and plenary panels will be oriented towards analysis of U.S. safety-net policies. We especially encourage submissions in line with this topic.

This year’s conference also includes a new submission category, Inequality and Disparities, for papers that investigate disparities by characteristics such as race or gender as well as the effects of tax or non-tax policies that are intended to alleviate them. We particularly encourage submissions to this topic area as well.

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March 31, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Conservatives Should Applaud — Not Fight — Efforts To Change Philanthropic Giving Rules

Following up on my previous post, The Left Wants A Philanthropy Of The Few:  Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed:  Conservatives Should Applaud — Not Fight — Efforts to Change Philanthropic Giving Rules, by Craig Kennedy & William Schambra:

Initiative To Accelerate A new proposal to pull more money out of private foundations and donor-advised funds and hand it to charities drew the immediate ire of conservatives, inside and outside of philanthropy. Elise Westhoff, CEO of the conservative Philanthropy Roundtable, called the tax-code changes proposed by philanthropist John Arnold and Boston College law professor Ray Madoff a “solution in search of a problem” that “would stifle charitable giving when it is most needed.”

As veterans of conservative and centrist philanthropy, we believe that this opposition is wrong-headed and shortsighted. Rather than resist the modest changes to the tax code proposed by Arnold and Madoff, conservatives should see them as the first step toward retooling a philanthropic world that has become too politicized and self-interested. ...

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March 31, 2021 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

San Francisco Seeks To Hire Tax Visitors And Tax Writing Adjunct

USF (2022)University of San Francisco, Visiting Professor, Tax LLM:

Visiting Professorship in tax for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Visitor may also have the opportunity to teach an elective/seminar, if the schedule permits, as part of a commitment to two courses each semester.

University of San Francisco, Visiting Professor, School of Law:

The University of San Francisco School of Law is seeking applicants for one or more Visiting Professorships for the 2021-2022 academic year. USF Law welcomes outstanding candidates in contracts, criminal law and procedure, torts and tax. The Visitor(s) may also have the opportunity to teach an elective/seminar, if the schedule permits, as part of a commitment to two courses each semester. ...

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March 31, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

2022 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Clinical Training Rankings include the clinical training law programs at 182 law schools (the faculty survey had a 64% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.6 CUNY
1 4.6 Georgetown
3 4.5 American
4 4.4 NYU
4 4.4 Yale
6 4.2 Michigan
6 4.2 District of Columbia
6 4.2 UC-Irvine
9 4.1 Denver
9 4.1 Maryland
9 4.1 New Mexico
9 4.1 Northwestern
9 4.1 UC-Berkeley
9 4.1 Washington Univ.
15 4.0 Baltimore
15 4.0 Rutgers
15 4.0 Stanford
15 4.0 Suffolk
19 3.9 Fordham
19 3.9 Tennessee
19 3.9 UC-Hastings
22 3.8 Columbia
22 3.8 Northeastern
24 3.7 Boston College
24 3.7 Brooklyn
24 3.7 George Washington
24 3.7 Georgia
24 3.7 Harvard
24 3.7 Miami
24 3.7 Seattle
24 3.7 UCLA
32 3.6 Howard
32 3.6 Loyola-New Orleans
32 3.6 Minnesota
32 3.6 Mitchell-Hamline
32 3.6 Penn
32 3.6 Texas A&M
32 3.6 Tulane
32 3.6 Univ. of Washington
40 3.5 Albany
40 3.5 Boston Univ.
40 3.5 Cardozo
40 3.5 Chicago
40 3.5 Georgia State
40 3.5 St. Thomas (MN)
40 3.5 Texas
40 3.5 UNLV
40 3.5 Vanderbilt
40 3.5 Washburn
50 3.4 Alabama
50 3.4 Cornell
50 3.4 Duke
50 3.4 North Carolina
50 3.4 South Carolina
50 3.4 UIC-John Marshall

2021 U.S. News Clinical Law Rankings 

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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

2022 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings include the business/corporate law programs at 187 law schools (the faculty survey had a 54% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.8 Harvard
2 4.6 Columbia
3 4.5 NYU
3 4.5 Penn
3 4.5 Stanford
3 4.5 UC-Berkeley
7 4.3 Chicago
8 4.2 UCLA
9 4.1 Michigan
9 4.1 Virginia
9 4.1 Yale
12 4.0 Duke
12 4.0 Georgetown
12 4.0 Northwestern
12 4.0 Vanderbilt
16 3.8 Cornell
17 3.7 Texas
18 3.6 Fordham
19 3.5 Boston Univ.
19 3.5 Minnesota
19 3.5 USC
22 3.4 Emory
22 3.4 George Washington
22 3.4 UC-Davis
25 3.3 Indiana (Maurer)
25 3.3 Tennessee
25 3.3 Washington Univ.
28 3.2 Florida
28 3.2 Georgia
28 3.2 Illinois
28 3.2 Iowa
28 3.2 North Carolina
28 3.2 Notre Dame
28 3.2 San Diego
28 3.2 UC-Hastings
36 3.1 Boston College
36 3.1 Brooklyn
36 3.1 BYU
36 3.1 George Mason
36 3.1 Tulane
36 3.1 Washington & Lee
36 3.1 William & Mary
36 3.1 Wisconsin
44 3.0 Colorado
44 3.0 Ohio State
44 3.0 UC-Irvine
44 3.0 Utah
48 2.9 Arizona State
48 2.9 Miami
48 2.9 Univ. of Washington
48 2.9 Widener (DE)

2021 U.S. News Business/Corporate Law Rankings 

2022 U.S. News Specialty Rankings:

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

U.S. Tax Court's Tax Trailblazers: Sam Thompson

U.S. Tax Court's Diversity & Inclusion Series, Tax Trailblazers: Mentoring the Next Generation:

Thompson 2021Please join the United States Tax Court for the second in a series of monthly programs celebrating diversity and inclusion in tax law. Moderated by Chief Judge Maurice B. Foley, March’s webinar will focus on Samuel C. Thompson, Jr., Director of the Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions at Penn State Law. Today at 7:00-8:15 PM EST (register here).

Samuel C. Thompson, Jr. directs Penn State’s Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions. He is also a Professor of Law and the Arthur Weiss Distinguished Faculty Scholar. He teaches mergers and acquisitions, focusing on corporate, securities, tax, accounting, and antitrust aspects of these very complex transactions. He also teaches several tax courses. Beginning with the Spring semester 2021, he is teaching a course entitled: The Lawyer’s Role in Helping Close the Minority-White Gap in Business Ownership.

Professor Thompson has served in two governmental tax policy positions, one in the U.S. Treasury’s Tax Legislative Counsel’s Office and one as the tax policy advisor, on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Tax Assistance Office, to the South African Ministry of Finance in Pretoria, South Africa. In that second role he assisted with the revision of South Africa’s income tax system.

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March 31, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

GWU And NYU Beat Student COVID-19 Tuition Refund Lawsuits

GWU NYU (2021)Law360, GWU Beats Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Suit:

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a consolidated proposed class action demanding tuition refunds from George Washington University for transitioning to online learning during the pandemic, ruling the institution never promised students in-person classes.

In an eight-page order, U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon agreed with the university that the students who brought the cases last May did not adequately plead their breach of contract claim.

"Plaintiffs point to broad descriptions of GW's campus and common student experiences, as well as customary practice," the judge found. They did argue the differences between GW's in-person and online degree programs, "but these general descriptions and distinctions do not create enforceable obligations on the part of GW."

"Moreover, plaintiffs do not identify any language or other evidence in … university documents or elsewhere indicating GW's intent to be bound to provide in-person instruction," the judge added.

Law360, NYU Beats COVID-19 Student Tuition Refund Suit:

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

Dorothy Brown On Ali Velshie: Racist Tax Codes Exist Because ‘A Rich, White Couple Wanted To Pay Less Taxes’

MSNBC Ali Velshie, Dorothy A. Brown: Racist Tax Codes Exist Because ‘A Rich, White Couple Wanted to Pay Less in Taxes’ (Mar. 27, 2021):

Legacy racist policies exist all over the place, but tax-law professor at Emory University School of Law and author of The Whiteness of Wealth, Dorothy A. Brown is exposing them in a place you may not be expecting to see them: in your taxes. Take a look at how the marriage penalty has been possibly unknowingly hurting couples of color for decades.

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March 31, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

2022 U.S. News Tax Rankings

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiThe new 2022 U.S. News Tax Rankings include the tax programs at 186 law schools (the faculty survey had a 58% response rate). Here are the Top 50:

Rank Score School
1 4.8 NYU
2 4.4 Florida
3 4.3 Georgetown
4 4.2 Northwestern
4 4.2 Virginia
6 4.0 Chicago
6 4.0 UC-Irvine
8 3.9 Harvard
8 3.9 Michigan
8 3.9 UCLA
11 3.8 Columbia
11 3.8 Loyola-L.A.
11 3.8 Stanford
14 3.7 Boston College
14 3.7 Yale
16 3.6 Boston Univ.
16 3.6 Duke
16 3.6 Indiana (Maurer)
16 3.6 Texas
16 3.6 UC-Hastings
21 3.5 Penn
21 3.5 San Diego
23 3.4 UC-Berkeley
23 3.4 USC
25 3.3 Minnesota
25 3.3 North Carolina
27 3.2 UC-Davis
28 3.1 Arizona State
28 3.1 Cornell
28 3.1 Florida State
28 3.1 George Washington
28 3.1 Miami
28 3.1 Washington Univ.
34 3.0 Emory
34 3.0 Ohio State
34 3.0 Villanova
34 3.0 Univ. of Washington
34 3.0 Washington & Lee
39 2.9 Alabama
39 2.9 Colorado
39 2.9 Fordham
39 2.9 Georgia
39 2.9 Georgia State
39 2.9 Pepperdine Caruso
39 2.9 Temple
39 2.9 Vanderbilt
47 2.8 BYU
47 2.8 Iowa
47 2.8 Loyola-Chicago
47 2.8 Notre Dame
47 2.8 Pittsburgh
47 2.8 Tulane

Among the law schools in the tax rankings last year, here are the biggest upward moves:

  • +24: Colorado (#39)
  • +21: Iowa (#47)
  • +16: Tulane (#47), Georgia State (#39)
  • +14: Cornell (#28), George Washington (#28), Emory (#34)
  • +9: Arizona State (#28), Florida State (#28), Vanderbilt (#39)

Here are the biggest downward moves:

  • -21: Pittsburgh (#47)
  • -15: BYU (#47)
  • -8: USC (#23)
  • -7: Alabama (#39), Fordham (#39)
  • -6: Pennsylvania (#21)

Here are the rankings of law schools with graduate tax programs:

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

Grewal Presents Allocating Deductions To Tax-Exempt Income Virtually Today At Florida State

Andy Grewal (Iowa) presents Tax 202: Properly Allocating Deductions to Tax-Exempt Income virtually at Florida State today as part of its Tax Workshop Speaker Series hosted by Jeffrey Kahn: 

2020_Grewal_Andy_Faculty (3)Through the CARES Act, Congress established a generous Paycheck Protection Program. Under that program, recipients would get loans which could easily qualify for tax-free forgiveness. As an added bonus, taxpayers would enjoy tax deductions when they spent the amounts they borrowed.

Or so it seemed. After the IRS issued a notice denying deductions PPP expenses, Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin personally reviewed the matter and decided that the IRS’s position followed from “Tax 101.” Congress eventually stepped in and offered a narrow statutory clarification: PPP expenses would be deductible.

Unfortunately, Congress did not go far enough. The IRS, with the blessing of some courts, has long used an aggressive interpretation of Section 265(a) to improperly allocate deductions to tax-exempt income, and thereby deny them.

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March 30, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Josh Blackman Defends CUNY Dean Mary Lu Bilek

Following up on my previous posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas), In Defense of CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek:

In 2018, students at CUNY Law School tried to shut down my lecture on free speech. Prior to the event, Dean Mary Lu Bilek refused to cancel the event. But after my event, she said the "non-violent, limited protest was a reasonable exercise of protected free speech, and it did not violate any university policy."

Dean Bilek never reached out to me. Indeed, not a single faculty member CUNY ever said a word to me. ...

Dean Bilek's self-cancellation has made national headlines. I encourage you to read the summary in the New York Times. I won't even try to summarize the surreal circumstances. I'll admit it. I had a brief moment of schadenfreude, but then my libertarian wheels started spinning, and I rallied to her cause.

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

U.S. News Ranking Metrics Stifle Law Libraries, Tie Hands of Law Schools

TaxProf Blog op-ed:  U.S. News Ranking Metrics Stifle Law Libraries, Tie Hands of Law Schools, by Amanda Runyon (Pennsylvania), Leslie A. Street (William & Mary), & Amanda Watson (Houston):

LibraryUSNWR has released the 2022 Best of Law School rankings, including a new set of questions and methodology for law libraries. As library directors at schools that perform objectively well in these new calculations, we feel obligated to voice our concerns. We believe the unintended consequences and potential outcomes of these metrics are highly problematic for law libraries and the institutions that we serve. Specifically, we are concerned that the new metrics may erode the value of libraries and push libraries to focus resources on US News data points, rather than on the services and outcomes that are most beneficial to our institutions, as the ABA requires.

Law library questions are included in the Faculty Resources portion of the ranking methodology and differ significantly from prior years’ data collection. Recognizing that the library-related US News questions used outdated metrics, a group of volunteers solicited through four law library organizations developed these new metrics beginning in early 2020.[1]  In November 2020, US News announced the immediate implementation of these metrics.

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March 30, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

2022 U.S. News Law School Peer Reputation Rankings (And Overall Rankings)

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0240a490199b200b-250wiContinuing a TaxProf Blog tradition (see links below for 2009-2021), here is the full list of the 193 law schools ranked by academic peer reputation, as well as their overall rank, in the new 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings (methodology here):

Peer Rank Peer Score School Overall Rank
1 4.8 Harvard 3
1 4.8 Stanford 2
1 4.8 Yale 1
4 4.7 Columbia 4
5 4.6 Chicago 4
5 4.6 NYU 6
7 4.5 UC-Berkeley 9
8 4.4 Michigan 10
8 4.4 Penn 6
8 4.4 Virginia 8
11 4.3 Cornell 13
12 4.2 Duke 10
12 4.2 Georgetown 15
12 4.2 Northwestern 12
15 4.1 Texas 16
15 4.1 UCLA 14
17 4.0 Vanderbilt 16
18 3.7 Washington Univ. 16
19 3.6 Emory 29
19 3.6 Minnesota 22
19 3.6 UC-Irvine 35
19 3.6 USC 19
23 3.5 Boston Univ. 20
23 3.5 George Washington 27
23 3.5 North Carolina 24
23 3.5 Notre Dame 22
23 3.5 UC-Davis 35
28 3.4 Boston College 29
28 3.4 Fordham 35
28 3.4 William & Mary 35
28 3.4 Wisconsin 29
32 3.3 Alabama 25
32 3.3 Arizona State 25
32 3.3 Florida 21
32 3.3 Georgia 27
32 3.3 Indiana (Maurer) 43
32 3.3 Iowa 29
32 3.3 Ohio State 40
32 3.3 Univ. of Washington 45
40 3.2 Arizona 46
40 3.2 Colorado 48
40 3.2 Illinois 29
40 3.2 Tulane 60
40 3.2 UC-Hastings 50
45 3.1 Florida State 48
45 3.1 Wake Forest 41
45 3.1 Washington & Lee 35
48 3.0 American 81
48 3.0 Howard 91
48 3.0 Maryland 50
48 3.0 Utah 43
52 2.9 BYU 29
52 2.9 Cardozo 53
52 2.9 Connecticut 58
52 2.9 Miami 72
56 2.8 Denver 78
56 2.8 Georgia State 78
56 2.8 Houston 60
56 2.8 Loyola-L.A. 72
56 2.8 Oregon 72
56 2.8 Richmond 53
56 2.8 San Diego 86
56 2.8 Temple 53
64 2.7 Brooklyn 81
64 2.7 George Mason 41
64 2.7 Kansas 70
64 2.7 Pepperdine Caruso 46
64 2.7 Pittsburgh 67
64 2.7 Rutgers 91
64 2.7 SMU 52
64 2.7 Texas A&M 53
64 2.7 UNLV 60
73 2.6 Case Western 72
73 2.6 Chicago-Kent 91
73 2.6 Hawaii 98
73 2.6 Loyola-Chicago 78
73 2.6 Northeastern 67
73 2.6 Oklahoma 67
73 2.6 Penn State-University Park 60
73 2.6 Santa Clara 126
73 2.6 Tennessee 60
73 2.6 Villanova 53
83 2.5 Baylor 58
83 2.5 Indiana (McKinney) 111
83 2.5 Kentucky 81
83 2.5 Lewis & Clark 88
83 2.5 Michigan State 91
83 2.5 Missouri (Columbia) 60
83 2.5 Nebraska 87
83 2.5 New Mexico 102
83 2.5 Penn State-Dickinson 60
83 2.5 Seattle 126
83 2.5 Seton Hall 70
83 2.5 South Carolina 96
95 2.4 Arkansas-Fayetteville 96
95 2.4 Cincinnati 81
95 2.4 CUNY 102
95 2.4 Drexel 81
95 2.4 St. John's 72
95 2.4 St. Louis 91
95 2.4 Syracuse 102
102 2.3 DePaul 111
102 2.3 Marquette 102
102 2.3 Mississippi 98
102 2.3 SUNY-Buffalo 98
102 2.3 Wayne State 72
107 2.2 Baltimore 129
107 2.2 Catholic 102
107 2.2 Gonzaga 129
107 2.2 Hofstra 119
107 2.2 Louisiana State 109
107 2.2 Louisville 98
107 2.2 Loyola-New Orleans 144
107 2.2 Maine 124
107 2.2 Missouri-Kansas City 111
107 2.2 Stetson 111
107 2.2 UIC-John Marshall Tier 2
107 2.2 West Virginia 116
119 2.1 Albany 116
119 2.1 Arkansas-Little Rock 141
119 2.1 Florida Int'l 88
119 2.1 Idaho 139
119 2.1 Montana 134
119 2.1 New Hampshire 88
119 2.1 Suffolk 129
119 2.1 Willamette Tier 2
127 2.0 Creighton 141
127 2.0 Drake 102
127 2.0 Memphis 144
127 2.0 Mercer 124
127 2.0 New York Law School 119
127 2.0 Pace 139
127 2.0 Pacific 141
127 2.0 Quinnipiac 129
127 2.0 San Francisco Tier 2
127 2.0 Texas Tech 102
127 2.0 Tulsa 111
127 2.0 Vermont Tier 2
127 2.0 Washburn 109
127 2.0 Wyoming 119
141 1.9 Akron 134
141 1.9 Chapman 134
141 1.9 Cleveland-Marshall 116
141 1.9 Dayton 119
141 1.9 Duquesne 119
141 1.9 Mitchell-Hamline Tier 2
141 1.9 Southwestern Tier 2
141 1.9 St. Thomas (MN) 126
141 1.9 Toledo 129
150 1.8 Florida A&M Tier 2
150 1.8 North Dakota Tier 2
150 1.8 South Dakota 134
150 1.8 St. Mary's Tier 2
150 1.8 Widener (DE) Tier 2
155 1.7 Detroit Mercy Tier 2
155 1.7 District of Columbia Tier 2
155 1.7 Elon Tier 2
155 1.7 Northern Illinois Tier 2
155 1.7 Roger Williams Tier 2
155 1.7 South Texas Tier 2
155 1.7 Southern Tier 2
155 1.7 Southern Illinois Tier 2
155 1.7 Widener (PA) Tier 2
164 1.6 Cal-Western Tier 2
164 1.6 Campbell Tier 2
164 1.6 Massachusetts Tier 2
164 1.6 Mississippi College Tier 2
164 1.6 New England Tier 2
164 1.6 North Carolina Central Tier 2
164 1.6 Northern Kentucky Tier 2
164 1.6 Nova SE Tier 2
164 1.6 Ohio Northern Tier 2
164 1.6 Samford 144
164 1.6 St. Thomas (FL) Tier 2
164 1.6 Texas Southern Tier 2
164 1.6 Touro Tier 2
177 1.5 Belmont 134
177 1.5 Golden Gate Tier 2
177 1.5 Oklahoma City Tier 2
177 1.5 Western New England Tier 2
181 1.4 Capital Tier 2
181 1.4 John Marshall (GA) Tier 2
181 1.4 Regent Tier 2
184 1.3 Appalachian Tier 2
184 1.3 Charleston Tier 2
186 1.2 Ave Maria Tier 2
186 1.2 Barry Tier 2
186 1.2 Faulkner Tier 2
186 1.2 Florida Coastal Tier 2
186 1.2 Liberty Tier 2
186 1.2 Lincoln Memorial Tier 2
186 1.2 Western Michigan Tier 2
186 1.2 Western Tier 2

Prior Years' U.S. News Peer Reputation And Overall Rankings:

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

Sullivan: Measuring Disparate Racial Tax Outcomes Before And After The TCJA

Martin Sullivan (Tax Analysts), Measuring Disparate Racial Tax Outcomes Before and After the TCJA, 170 Tax Notes Fed. 1666 (Mar. 15, 2021):

Our preliminary analysis of 2017 and 2018 tax return data indicates that, on average, effective tax rates were lower for ZIP codes where most of the population identified as white than for ZIP codes with more racial diversity.

Sullivan 1

Also, the analysis indicates that after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, larger percentage point reductions are seen in ZIP codes with predominantly white populations.

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March 30, 2021 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

12 Private College Presidents Earned Over $2 Million In 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual survey of executive compensation packages for more than 600 presidents of private colleges and universities. The total compensation for these 12 presidents exceeded $2,000,000 in 2018:

Chronicle

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

Fifth International Conference On Taxpayer Rights

5th Annual

Nina Olson (Executive Director and Founder, Center for Taxpayer Rights):

Registration is now open for the 5th International Conference on Taxpayer Rights, which will be held over three days, on May 26 to 28, 2021. The theme of the conference is Quality Tax Audits and the Protection of Fundamental Rights. You can access the agenda here. Our host for this year’s conference is the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Law.

This year we are holding the conference entirely online. Although we will miss seeing everyone in person, we view this live online conference as an opportunity to expand the conference’s reach. So please share this information with others!

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March 30, 2021 in Conferences, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

Monday, March 29, 2021

Mann Presents Targeting Plastics Pollution With Taxes Virtually Today At Boston College

Roberta Mann (Oregon) presents Targeting Plastics Pollution with Taxes virtually at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Shu-Yi Oei, Jim Repetti, and Diane Ring:

MannPlastic pollution is a matter of increasing global concern.  In 2015, a report by McKinsey & Company stated that “the amount of unmanaged plastic waste entering the ocean has reached crisis levels.” Assuming a constant level of fish stocks, the weight of plastic pollution in the ocean in 2050 is projected to exceed the weight of the fish. The concern reaches all levels of government from the local to the national.  Solutions include plastic bag bans, taxes or fees on single-use plastics, incentives for reusable bags, and incentives for recycling.  Recycling has become a particular issue since early 2018, when China announced it would stop accepting imported plastic waste. Plastics pollution creates significant environmental externalities, such as harm to natural systems, greenhouse gas emissions from production and after-use incineration, and human health impacts from endocrine disrupters released when plastics degrade. Environmental taxation should be an efficient solution to the plastics pollution problem, if properly designed. 

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March 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Field Presents Itemization After The TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined Tax Simplification Virtually Today At Florida

Heather Field (UC-Hastings; Google Scholar) presents Itemization After the TCJA: How State Election Uniformity Laws Undermined the Goal of Simplifying the Individual Income Tax virtually at Florida today as part of its Tax Colloquium Series hosted by Charlene Luke:

FieldAlmost 30 million fewer federal income tax returns with itemized deductions were filed for the 2018 tax year than were filed for 2017.  On the surface, that suggests that the TCJA’s itemization-related changes—specifically, the increase to the standard deduction and limits on itemized deductions—simplified the individual income tax system.  A closer look at the data, however, tells a more complex story.  Specifically, this Article uses federal and state individual income tax filing data from the 2017 and 2018 tax years to demonstrate that the TCJA’s impact on itemization rates varied from state to state depending, among other things, on whether the state obligated its taxpayers to make the same tax election (i.e., to itemize or take the standard deduction) for state purposes as the taxpayer made for federal purposes. 

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March 29, 2021 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

I Received My Second COVID Vaccine Today: I Didn't Throw Away My Shot

Shot

March 29, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Frye: It's The End Of Legal Citation As We Know It

Brian L. Frye (Kentucky), It's The End Of Citation As We Know It & I Feel Fine:

ScholarSiftLegal scholarship sucks. It’s interminably long. It’s relentlessly boring. And it’s confusingly esoteric. But the worst thing about legal scholarship is the footnotes. Every sentence gets one1. Banal statement of historical fact? Footnote. Recitation of hornbook law? Footnote. General observation about scholarly consensus? Footnote. Original observation? Footnote as well, I guess. ...

There’s gotta be a better way. Thankfully, in 2020, Rob Anderson and Trent Wenzel created ScholarSift, a computer program that uses machine learning to analyze legal scholarship and identify the most relevant articles. Anderson is a law professor at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law and Wenzel is a software developer. They teamed up to produce a platform intended to make legal scholarship more efficient. Essentially, ScholarSift tells authors which articles they should be citing, and tells editors whether an article is novel.

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March 29, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

U.S. News Issues THIRD Version Of Law School Rankings In Advance Of Their Public Release On Tuesday (12:01 AM ET)

At 3:53 PM ET on Sunday, U.S. News emailed Deans and other law school administrators the following:

US News Logo 2Best Law Schools
For the overall ranking, U.S. News removed the metric for ratio of credit-bearing hours of instruction provided by law librarians to full-time equivalent law students [.25%, reducing the library weighting to 1.75%] and increased the weighting for the bar passage rate indicator [by .25%, for a new total of 2.25%]. As a result, we recalculated the rankings.

This change affected the overall ranking of 35 law schools, including 9 law schools in the Top 30.

Update: Karen Sloan (Law.com), US News' Rough Year Just Got Worse: Law School Rankings Changed a Third Time:

U.S. News & World Report has modified its closely watched law school rankings yet again—marking the third time the rankings have changed in the two weeks prior to their official March 30 release. ...

In a March 28 message to law school administrators, U.S. News said it removed a controversial metric regarding the number of credit hours taught by law librarians, and shifted the 0.25% weight that metric was given over to the bar pass rate indicator. As a result, the total weight given to law library measures in the overall rankings dropped from 2% to 1.75%, while the weight given to the bar pass rate increased from 2% to 2.25%, the message said. U.S. News recalculated the overall rankings with the new weighting, which changed the overall ranking of 35 schools, according to Pepperdine University Law Dean Paul Caron, who wrote about the latest changed on his TaxProfBlog. Nine of the schools in top 30 saw their rankings change, according to Caron, though several law faculty confirmed that there were no changes among the top 20 schools.

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March 29, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Former Temple Dean Faces Criminal Charges For Submitting False Data To Inflate U.S. News Ranking

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Philadelphia Inquirer, Criminal Charges Expected For Ousted Temple Dean in Rankings Scandal, Lawyers Say:

Temple University (2018)A long-running criminal probe into efforts by Temple University’s business school to boost its national rankings with false data is expected to conclude in the coming weeks with prosecutors recommending criminal charges against its former dean, according to recent court filings and interviews with sources familiar with the matter.

Attorneys for M. Moshe Porat — who led the Fox School of Business for more than two decades until his 2018 ouster when the school’s misrepresentations came to light — said the U.S. Attorney’s Office had recently informed them that it was pursuing a grand jury indictment against him and others in the coming weeks. ...

Porat’s lawyers, who did not return requests for comment, accused Temple in court papers Tuesday of stoking the criminal probe and trying to turn their client into a “scapegoat.”

But, in a filing in the defamation case last week, the university for the first time laid the blame squarely on Porat. Not only did the fraud occur under his watch, the school’s lawyers said, he was its “mastermind.”

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March 29, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Failing Business No Reason To Stop Collection In CDP Hearing

Collection Due Process (CDP) is designed to protect taxpayers from abusive collection actions by the IRS.  American Limousines, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2121-36 (Mar. 25, 2021) (Judge Halpern), teaches that CDP does not require the IRS to stop trying to collect from a business just because the business was failing.  There the taxpayer owed over $1.1 million in employment taxes.  The Office of Appeals rejected both the taxpayer’s installment payment offer of $2,000 per month, and its alternative proposal to be placed in CNC.  The taxpayer said that the Office of Appeals should have put it into CNC to allow its business to improve.  The Tax Court upheld the Appeals determination, finding that Appeals satisfactorily balanced the need for collection against the difficulties enforced collection would create for the taxpayer.  Details below the fold.

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March 29, 2021 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

How To Juice Your Citations In The HeinOnline/U.S. News Rankings

Following up on last week's post, U.S. News Denies Report That It Will Replace The 40% Reputation Component With HeinOnline Citations In Next Year's Law School Rankings:  Rob Willey (George Mason) & Melanie Knapp (George Mason), Hein, U.S. News, and How to Increase Citations:

Hein US NewsUsing nearly 250,000 law review articles published on HeinOnline in a five-year period, the authors analyze citation patterns and characteristics of the articles such as title length, number of authors, article length, publication format, and more. The authors describe past citation studies and best practices in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The authors find that factors beyond article quality likely impact scholarly citations. Drawing from the lessons in the citation patterns, article characteristics, and SEO best practices, the authors offer techniques to increase the article citation counts of articles published in U.S. law journals.

Based on data pulled from Hein, U.S. News will introduce a new scholarly impact ranking later this year. While this new ranking has the potential to improve the overall law school rankings, it opens the door to a wide-range of potential issues from citation cartels to keyword stuffing to less focus on important but less well-known areas of the law. Using lessons from the SEO world, the authors conclude with a detailed discussion of these potential problems.

USN1

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March 29, 2021 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Legal Theorists Have Much To Learn From Other Fields

Following up on my previous posts:

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Legal Theorists Have Much to Learn From Other Fields, by Adam Shapiro (Ph.D. History & Philosophy of Science & Technology, University of Chicago):

Not only those trained in the law are competent to speak about society.

Like science, legal scholarship is a specialized knowledge community that vigorously defends a distinction between insiders and outsiders. But — to borrow from the subtitle of one of the most important books in science and technology studies, Steve Shapin’s Never Pure — law, like science, is “produced by people with bodies, situated in time, space, culture, and society, and struggling for credibility and authority.” That’s where the study of law and society enters the picture.

Over 100 years ago, the sociologist of law Eugen Ehrlich wrote that “the center of gravity of legal development lies not in legislation, nor in juristic science, nor in judicial decision, but in society itself.” Writing in the Stanford Law Review nearly three-quarters of a century later, Lawrence M. Friedman described a “law and society movement” composed of a range of humanistic and social-scientific disciplines that “share … a general commitment to approach law with a vision and with methods that come from outside the discipline itself; and they share a commitment to explain legal phenomena (though not necessarily all legal phenomena) in terms of their social setting.” Scholars involved in this work are certainly not ignorant of the fact that lawyers “operate with laws written down in texts,” as Paul Gowder put it. Some even have legal training. But the field of law and society is pluralistic and examines more than just the written laws. It approaches “society itself” through history, economics, anthropology, literature, linguistics, and philosophy, as well as sociology.

Just as science and technologies studies treats the practice of science in terms of its own research questions, the field of law and society need not restrict itself to the service of explicating the law or assisting the work of legal scholars. Scholars of law and society might not take the words of jurists at face value, and they will often suggest that there is context beyond the laws written down in texts. It is not the case that only those trained in the law are competent to speak about society.

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March 28, 2021 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink