Paul L. Caron
Dean




Monday, June 20, 2022

Town And Gown, Malibu And Pepperdine

Wall Street Journal, The New HOTTER Malibu:

Decades after Larry Ellison started buying up Malibu real estate, a new group of billionaires is sending prices in the famed beach city higher. Not everyone is happy about it. ...

WSJMalibu, a beach city about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, has changed drastically over the last few decades, morphing from a largely undeveloped surf mecca into a pricey playground for celebrities and the uber-wealthy. The change—spurred in part by investment from tech titan Larry Ellison—has sent Malibu real-estate values skyward.

Malibu home prices have climbed even higher since the Covid-19 pandemic. As it became clear that the crisis would continue for some time, some of the country’s wealthiest people fled to Malibu, lured by its uncrowded beaches, sunny weather and relaxed, surftown vibe. They vied to purchase the most sought-after beachfront and blufftop properties, picking over the already small number of available homes for sale. Much like other high-end markets across the country with limited inventory, the Malibu market “took off like a rocket ship” .... And despite mounting evidence that wealthy buyers are starting to pull back from luxury markets across the county, activity in Malibu shows little sign of letting up.

Malibu residents say they are accustomed to celebrities and billionaires moving in from out of town, but even they are shocked by the city’s newest round of big-ticket home sales. The Bohemian character that lured wealthy buyers to Malibu in the first place, some locals said, is on the verge of being irrevocably lost. ...

MalibuOverall, the number of Malibu home sales of $5 million and up swelled to 81 last year, up from 39 in 2019, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. In the first quarter, the median price for a single-family home shot to $6.99 million, compared with $4.25 million during the same period of 2021. ...

For many wealthy buyers, the allure of Malibu is its relaxed atmosphere, which allows them to disappear from public view. “When these people come here, they are different,” Mr. Stern said. “People who you normally see on TV all dressed up, here they don’t shave or comb their hair.”

Another reason for Malibu’s popularity among the uber-wealthy is that its beaches are significantly less crowded than those in Santa Monica or Venice Beach, and lack souvenir stands, beach vendors and amusements.

And then there’s Larry Ellison, the co-founder of tech giant Oracle. Mr. Ellison became synonymous with Malibu starting in the early 2000s, when he started buying up numerous homes in the beach city. He now owns around 10 homes on Carbon Beach, and locals say they occasionally spot Mr. Ellison around town or on his yacht docked off Paradise Cove.

But Mr. Ellison didn’t stop at buying homes. He also has ownership stakes in multiple buildings and commercial ventures that helped convert Malibu from a rustic and rundown surf city into an upscale destination, according to his real-estate agent, Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency. Mr. Ellison turned the PierView Restaurant and Cantina, a casual local eatery popular with students from nearby Pepperdine University, into a high-end Asian restaurant before turning it over to the private club Soho House. Another casual restaurant, known as the Windsail, was transformed into a Nobu restaurant, attracting celebrities such as the Kardashians and Justin Bieber. The Casa Malibu Inn, a low-key 1950s hotel, became the Japanese-inspired Nobu Ryokan Hotel, where rates start at a minimum of $2,000 a night. ...

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June 20, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates The Class Of 2022

3L Commissioning Service and Dinner (April 20, 2022):

Commissioning

3L Baccalaureate Service (May 19, 2022):

Baccalaureate Program

Baccalaureate Chapel

Baccalaureate Eric

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June 5, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Journey Continues . . .

I posted this five years ago today (June 1, 2017):

JourneyI am proud of the progress we have made toward these goals and honored to continue to serve in this role. 

June 1, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes New Faculty

New Faculty Pepperdine

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes New Faculty Members in the 2022-23 Academic Year:

Pepperdine Caruso Law is pleased to welcome four new faculty members joining us in August,  whose teaching and research focus on areas of law including the Second Amendment, the treatment of marginalized populations, criminal law, and tax law. Included in this distinguished group are tenure-track faculty and our first Pepperdine Caruso Family Law Fellow.

Jake Charles, who writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law, comes to Pepperdine from Duke University School of Law where he served as the inaugural executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law and remains an affiliated scholar. Charles earned a B.A. in criminology, law and society, and psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine; M.A. degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University; and his J.D. from Duke Law School. His most recent article, Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Outside the Constitution, was published in 120 MIch. L. Rev. 581 (2022)

Mary Hoopes, whose research examines how legal and political institutions serve marginalized populations, joins us from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was the Director of Research at the Berkeley Judicial Institute. Hoopes earned a B.S. at the University of Notre Dame, her J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Ph.D. from Berkeley Law. At Pepperdine, Hoopes will serve as the co-director of the Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr. Judicial Clerkship Institute. Her most recent article, Regulating Marginalized Labor, was published in 73 Hastings L.J. 1041 (2022).

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May 26, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Legally Blonde Dean

I was voted the guest who was most committed to the Legally Blonde theme at Saturday night’s graduation party. To all prospective law students: I hope this proves that the dean at Pepperdine Caruso Law will do (almost) anything for our students!

TaxProf Blog

May 24, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law Bibles For The Class Of 2022

One of my favorite things to do as dean: signing the Pepperdine-branded Bibles we will be giving to our graduates at tomorrow night's Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2022 and their families. I write in each Bible the graduate's name and the five Bible verses I will be talking about in my message that have shaped my life (and that I hope will shape theirs).

Bible

May 18, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, May 7, 2022

8th Annual Parris Awards At Pepperdine Caruso Law School

Congratulations to our student, staff, and faculty winners at the 8th Annual Parris Awards at Pepperdine Caruso Law:

ParrisStudent Awards

Evan T. Carthen 1L Inspirational Leadership Award
Section A: Phillip Allevato
Section B: Grace Ramsey
Section C: Mason Folse

Excellence in Service
Rebecca Voth

Excellence in Professionalism
Alina Ahmed

Excellence in Peacemaking
Tyler Clark

Excellence in Courage
Natalie Burkholder

Excellence in Leadership
Lindsey Kirchhoff

Excellence in Character
Thurgood Wynn

Pepperdine Award
Joseph Castro

Preceptor Award
Awards are also presented to alumni preceptors, who are paired with first-year students as mentors during their first year of law school

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May 7, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire An Assistant Dean For Professional Formation

Pepperdine Caruso Law is looking to hire an Assistant Dean for Professional Formation. This new position is an exciting opportunity to join the law school's leadership team and teach 1L students:

Pepperdine Campus Helicopter (040219) (Brighter)The Assistant Dean for Professional Formation envisions, creates, implements, and supports innovative strategies for the development and enhancement of professional formation and career opportunities for Pepperdine Caruso Law students and alumni. This is accomplished through leadership in the Parris Institute for Professional Excellence (“Parris”) and the Career Development Office (“CDO”). With vision and leadership, the Assistant Dean supervises and works closely with the Parris and CDO staff to accomplish the school’s career, professional formation, and leadership goals.

Duties

  • Teach professional formation classes to the first year class (up to 10 hrs per week), including substantive participation in Launch Week.
  • Support ongoing special programming directed towards upper year students.
  • Counsel first year students in character development, the role of faith and deeply held moral convictions in the legal profession, and reputation in the professional practice of law.
  • Develop direct relationships and contacts, and foster effective outreach programs and working relationships, with employers, alumni, faculty, staff, and other placement professionals. 
  • Continuously grow alumni and employer outreach programs and current job listings.
  • Guide CDO and law school staff in placing recently graduated alumni with employers, driving excellence in law school's student and graduate employment outcomes relative to peer and aspirational schools.
  • Encourage ongoing positive communications and relationships between students, alumni, and the CDO.
  • Plan and implement innovative marketing strategies to identify and solicit a diverse group of potential employers and relationships.
  • Work closely with the Alumni Affairs Office of Alumni Relations to cultivate and enhance employer and alumni relationships. 
  • Regularly attend and help organize and facilitate alumni and employer networking functions.
  • Manage employment data collection and reporting to the ABA, NALP, and other entities.
  • Guide the Parris Institute manager in research projects, facilitating participation in external research opportunities, and reviewing initial data on law student professional development, wellness, leadership, and character formation.
  • Creatively consider ways to expand the scope and reach of the institute in the legal profession by researching trends on legal professional development, wellness, leadership, and character formation to position the Parris Institute as a thought leader in the legal academy and broader community.
  • Supervise, and work with CDO staff to counsel students and alumni in career planning, job searches, resume preparation, interviewing skills, and networking in the diverse legal market; coordinate training skills workshops, career forums, and alumni speaker programs; and manage the on-campus interview (OCI) and student recruiting programs.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Support and contribute to the law school's mission, student and community service ideals, and overall goals and objectives. Uphold University mission through work performed.

To apply for the position, see here. For more information, contact me or Chalak Richards, our Associate Dean of Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging; and Executive Director, Parris Institute for Professional Excellence.

April 28, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law 3L Commissioning Service

Commissioning Service Program (042022)

We hosted our 11th annual 3L Commissioning Service at Pepperdine Caruso Law last week. Like many of the best things at our school, this was the brainchild of a student. In 2012, 2L Raija Churchill proposed that the last Wednesday night Dean's Bible study of the year model the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) as a send-off for our graduating 3Ls. After an online service last year due to Covid, we were thrilled to be back in person this year at the specacular new Light House on Pepperdine's main campus. I was honored to give two gifts to each 3L on behalf of the law school:

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April 24, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Harvard Journal Of Sports And Entertainment Law Honors The Memory Of Cedric Weston Halloran (2000-2021)

Cedric 7During the pandemic, our law school community has endured far too many deaths, including the loss of recent graduates, alumni, faculty, faculty spouses, and children of faculty. Our beloved colleague Maureen Weston and her husband Brian Halloran are mourning the death last year of their 20-year old son, Cedric. To honor and continue Cedric's legacy, Maureen and Brian have established the Cedric Weston Halloran Project For Student Mental, Physical, and Fiscal Health and the Cedric Weston Halloran Endowed Scholarship. Maureen posted on Facebook this wonderful tribute from the co-editors-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law:

Cedric 3

We mourned Cedric's passing at last year's Baccaureate Service, which was the first time our community gathered in person since we shifted online during the pandemic 440 days earlier. There are of course no words to adequately convey our sorrow and comfort Maureen, Brian, and all in our community who have suffered tragic losses during the pandemic. I said in part:

Although we have lost much over the past 440 days, we are here to worship the God who created us, the God who has been with us the past 440 days, and the God who will be with us for the next 10,000 years and forever more.

April 10, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2023 U.S. News Law School Rankings

USN Logo (2023)By now many of you have seen the news that Pepperdine Caruso Law ranks #52 in the 2023 U.S. News Law School Rankings. This is the fourth year in a row that Pepperdine Caruso Law has been ranked between #46-#52, an increase of at least 20 spots from its #72 ranking in 2018.

We do not chase rankings at Pepperdine Caruso Law. Every decision we make is guided by a single question: what is in the best interest of our students? Often those decisions produce a rankings benefit as well, and we gladly reap those results. I am pleased that we received the highest ranking in our history in several components of the 2023 rankings, including academic peer reputation, student selectivity (median LSAT scores, median undergraduate GPAs, and admissions acceptance rate), and average student loan debt.

Pepperdine Caruso Law also was recognized by U.S. News with Top 50 rankings in five specialty programs based on our reputation among faculty in those fields:  #1 in dispute resolution, #28 in tax law, #31 in trial advocacy, #39 in international law, and #46 in clinical training, as well as a #54 ranking in constitutional lawThis is the 14th time in the past 18 years that the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has been recognized as the top ADR program in the country. 

We are proud of our past, excited by all we have accomplished thus far, and exhilarated at what we will be able to achieve in the future with the additional resources provided by Rick J. Caruso's $50 million naming gift.

March 29, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, March 6, 2022

New Pepperdine Religious Liberty Clinic Asks Supreme Court To Rule For High School Coach Fired For Praying On Football Field After Games

Pepperdine Caruso Law Religious Liberty Clinic Represents American Legion in Supreme Court Amicus Brief:

Pepperdine Amicus BriefPepperdine Caruso Law’s newly-established Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Religious Liberty Clinic filed an amicus brief on March 2 at the United States Supreme Court in support of Coach Joseph Kennedy’s appeal against Bremerton School District. The friend of the court brief was submitted on behalf of national veterans’ organization The American Legion. Kennedy, an assistant high school football coach, was fired by the Seattle-area school district because he engaged in private prayer on the football field after games. The Clinic’s brief argues that the First Amendment protects the right of government employees to engage in personal prayer in public places.

The brief was drafted in part by Caruso Law third-year students Anne McCarthy and Seth Shepherd, along with attorneys from global law firm Jones Day, including Noel Francisco, former Solicitor General of the United States.

“It has been a privilege getting to work with and learn from the attorneys at Jones Day,” said McCarthy. “I am glad that we could do our part to protect a robust role for religious expression in the public square.”

“Working on this brief has been one of the highlights of my education at Pepperdine,” said Shepherd. “I am proud that we have been able to make a difference on such an important case, and as someone set to become a Marine Corps Judge Advocate after graduation, I am particularly proud that the clinic is representing the American Legion.”

“Football fields are not religion-free zones,” said Eric Rassbach, visiting professor at Pepperdine and inaugural executive director of the clinic. “The school district got the Constitution exactly backwards by banning prayer instead of allowing it as the First Amendment requires. We hope the Supreme Court throws the yellow flag on this flagrantly unconstitutional behavior.”

This is the first brief filed by the new clinic at Pepperdine Caruso Law, established in January 2022 with the help of a transformational gift from the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation. As part of the school’s Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics, the Religious Liberty Clinic explores enduring questions relating to how civil governments treat the religious beliefs, expressions, and institutions of their citizens and residents. “Faith is at the very core of Pepperdine’s mission,” said Dean Paul Caron. “The new Religious Liberty Clinic is a natural extension of our work, and empowers us to make an even greater impact with our faculty and students in matters of faith and the law.”

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March 6, 2022 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Brooklyn's Michael Cahill Is Tenth Law School Dean To Give At Least $100,000 To Students

Brooklyn Law School, Trailblazing Judge Mary Johnson Lowe '54 Honored with Named Scholarship to Promote Student Diversity and Inclusion:

CahillThe late Mary Johnson Lowe ’54, the first Black student to serve as editor-in-chief of the Brooklyn Law Review and the second Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary, has been honored with a new scholarship in her name. Funded by a pledge of $100,000 from Dean Michael T. Cahill and his wife Rosalyn Scaff, the scholarship will support Brooklyn Law School students from underrepresented groups. Cahill and Scaff's gift to the Law School recognizes Lowe’s lifelong dedication to equal justice and civil rights—in the courtroom and in the community.

“This scholarship honors a woman who made history, at Brooklyn Law School and beyond, and reaffirms a commitment to continuing our own history as a school of opportunity for people from all backgrounds, who can find a home here and thrive,” said Cahill.

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February 17, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, February 14, 2022

Valentines Day (And Every Day) At Pepperdine

Friday, February 11, 2022

Pepperdine Announces New $5 Million Brenden Mann Chair In Law & Religion; Michael Helfand Named Inaugural Chairholder

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Announces Newly Endowed Brenden Mann Chair in Law and Religion:

Helfand 2The Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law announced the newly endowed Brenden Mann Chair in Law and Religion supported by a generous $2.5 million commitment from the Brenden Mann Foundation. Pepperdine will match this gift as part of the University's Strategic Academic Investment Initiative, bringing the full endowment to $5 million. The endowment will ensure a faculty position dedicated to scholarly research, classroom instruction, and thought leadership on the relationship between law and religion. World-renowned religious law expert and Caruso School of Law professor Michael Helfand will serve as the inaugural chair.

Created by theater entrepreneur Johnny Brenden, whose grandfather, Ted Mann, founded Mann Theaters, the Brenden Mann Foundation supports numerous arts, education, and health programs for young people in the communities it serves. This gift will add to the foundation’s support of Pepperdine programs, including the Brenden Mann Israel Internship Program for students who want to explore international opportunities and a scholarship program for undergraduates interested in both Jewish studies and interfaith programming.

The generous endowment supporting the Brenden Mann Chair in Law and Religion ensures a faculty position dedicated to scholarly research, classroom instruction, and thought leadership on the relationship between law and religion. “This extraordinary gift from the Brenden Mann Foundation,” said Paul Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and professor of law, “will equip the law school to further enhance the University’s commitment to teaching and leading at the intersection of faith and law.”

The inaugural holder of the Brenden Mann Chair in Law and Religion will be Michael Helfand, a world-renowned expert on religious law and religious liberty whose work focuses on how US law treats religious law, custom, and practice.

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February 11, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

London Study Abroad Opportunity For 2Ls And 3Ls In Fall 2022

London

One of the major components of our global programs at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is our Fall London Program, now in its 41st year. I am pleased to announce that Professor Naomi Goodno will be serving as the program’s academic director in Fall 2022. She will lead the faculty of British professors and practitioners teaching a wide array of course. We invite and welcome visiting 2Ls and 3Ls who are interested in international and comparative law, human rights, conflict resolution, arbitration, business, and diplomacy. The program offers extensive externship opportunities in London, study tours to international courts and institutions, and energetic moot court competitions with British law students and young lawyers.

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February 8, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

ABA Teaching Taxation Panel Today On Riding The Tax Reform Wave In Real Time

I am looking forward to moderating the Teaching Taxation Section panel on Riding the Tax Reform Wave in Real Time at today's ABA Tax Section Virtual 2022 Mid-Year Meeting at 12:30-2:00 PM ET:

ABA Teaching Taxation Social MediaWhat are the different ways in which law faculty and practitioners keep up with tax reform proposals, legislative changes, and administrative guidance in the rapidly changing world of tax law? As professionals, we need to be aware of conversations around legislative proposals and any resulting changes that would impact our audience, whether that is law students or clients. What are the best processes and sources of information for staying abreast of pending changes to the tax law? How do we juggle uncertainty as proposals unfold, whether we are teaching students or advising clients? How do we get up to speed as quickly as possible once changes are implemented and guidance follows? The panel – consisting of a tax law professor, law librarian, journalist, and practitioner – will discuss the best practices with simulations.

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February 2, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Pepperdine Pixie Dust

One of my favorite things about my job is having the opportunity to go to AALS and ABA dean meetings. I love to rub elbows (albeit virtually the past two years) with great people and learn things that I can take back to use at Pepperdine. At this year's AALS Deans Forum on Transitions: Crisis Management to Transformational Leadership, Jon Cook, Global CEO of VMLY&R, gave a wonderful keynote address on Brand the Experience | Experience the Brand.

Pixie DustJon talked about how Disney delivers the best customer service in the world: by encouraging employees to sprinkle pixie dust in their interactions with guests – to do something out of the ordinary that guests would not expect or experience any other place. He illustrated the point with how employees at the Magic Kingdom respond to a common question: What time is the 3 o'clock parade?

Most of us would be tempted to roll our eyes and answer snarkily: "Duh, 3 o'clock." At Disney, employees are encouraged to sprinkle pixie dust and exceed the guest's expectations by saying things like:

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January 30, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Pepperdine Caruso Law Seeks To Hire A Faculty Fellow

For anyone interested in becoming a tenure-track law professor, I hope you will consider our new Pepperdine Caruso Law Fellowship:

Pepperdine Campus Helicopter (040219) (Brighter)The Pepperdine Caruso Law Fellowship is designed to assist attorneys with backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the legal academy to pursue a full-time legal academic tenure-track career. The fellowship is a two-year appointment that will provide such attorneys with the time and resources to obtain the skills needed to successfully transition to a tenure-track legal academic position.

Fellows will have ample time to pursue scholarly projects. They will be fully integrated into the faculty community and will be invited to attend and actively participate in all faculty presentations and workshops. Fellows will also have the opportunity to present a paper to the faculty and receive feedback in preparation for the entry-level job market. Fellows will also receive financial support for their scholarship including access to research assistants as well as funds to travel to and attend conferences. This is a full-time position, and Fellows will be expected to be in full-time residence at Pepperdine Caruso Law during the academic year.

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January 19, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, January 16, 2022

2021 Religious Law School Rankings

Most Devout Law SchoolsThe Most Devout Law Schools, preLaw (Winter 2021):

Every two years, preLaw magazine spotlights the country’s Most Devout Law Schools [2019 ranking here]. ... Forty-six law schools in the U.S. have ties to faith. ... 28 law schools ... are associated with the Catholic religion. Many others are rooted to other Christian faiths, and two are Jewish institutions — Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York City and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, N.Y.

Most Devout Christian Law Schools

METHODOLOGY
preLaw magazine bases its Most Devout honor roll on information gathered from law schools and other sources, including: percentage and activity of students and faculty who belong to the faith; number of religion-focused courses and other ways the school incorporates faith into its curriculum; religion-related journals, centers and clinics; religious services and clergy at the law school; and mission of the law school.

Most Devout Catholic Law Schools:

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

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Deaning And Tsunamis

It has been quite a ride as dean: bones broken by a student, getting tossed out of the U.S. News rankings for self-reporting a data entry error, mass shooting, cataclysmic fire, detached retinas in both eyes, global pandemic, and, this morning, my first tsunami warning:

Tsunami

January 15, 2022 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2021):

Schools have managed to do incredible work, even during a pandemic when face-to-face clinical work and externship opportunities were disrupted. ... This year, we’re honoring 65 schools, but every law school invests in practical training.

Practical Training

PRACTICAL TRAINING METHODOLOGY
We graded schools on a number of data points, focusing on key practical training offerings such as clinics, externships, simulation courses, pro bono hours and moot trial participation.

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January 11, 2022 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Friday, January 7, 2022

Pepperdine Symposium: Wealth And Inequality

Pepperdine Symposium

Symposium, Wealth and Inequality, 48 Pepp. L. Rev. 875-1129 (2021):

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January 7, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Sunday, November 28, 2021

WSJ: Fans Pour Funding—And Faith—Into 'The Chosen': A Hit Drama About Jesus

In July, I blogged The Chosen: Christian America’s Must-See TV Show and shared that I love the show so much that my wife and I were going to host weekly watch parties of Season 1 with lunch on Fridays in the fall semester at Pepperdine Caruso Law School. I am thrilled to report that it was such a success that we will be showing Season 2 in the spring semester. The weekend Wall Street Journal has a fascinating report on the show: Fans Pour Funding—and Faith—Into a Hit Drama About Jesus:

The Chosen 2Crowdfunding has raised millions for ‘The Chosen,’ an ambitious series exploring characters from the New Testament. Fans have already chipped in enough for three seasons—and are driving ticket sales for a Christmas special coming to movie theaters.

Dallas Jenkins, the filmmaker who created “The Chosen,” says the show’s style is modeled more on “Friday Night Lights” than other Christian TV shows and movies. Mary Magdalene relapses into vice. The apostle Matthew is on the autism spectrum. Jesus’ miracles get back stories.

By fleshing out biblical characters across multiple seasons, the show has inspired fan discussion, debate and squabbling on a level more typical of the Marvel or Star Wars series. Except that for “Chosen” fans, the dynamic is fueled by religious faith. ...

The success of the series is a powerful reminder to Hollywood that faith-focused projects can sometimes become breakthrough hits. But what makes “The Chosen” even more of an outlier is the way it is supercharging the crowdfunding model to sustain production through multiple seasons. Though “The Chosen” is free to watch, viewers have poured $40 million and counting into its production budget, enough to pay for three out of a planned seven seasons. The costs of building the new production facilities, on a 1,200-acre camp owned by the Salvation Army, are being covered by a smaller group of the show’s fans.

Producers say viewership was sluggish when the first season premiered for a fee in 2019. But the audience spiked when they made the series free on a “Chosen” app, now the show’s main distribution hub, and viewers continued to multiply during the pandemic’s lockdown months. The show has been translated into 50 languages, and is licensed to video services from Amazon to Peacock. Producers estimate that its 16 episodes have been viewed 312 million times. Now the “Chosen” audience is set to converge in person in movie theaters.

Starting Dec. 1, about 1,700 theaters will feature screenings of a “Chosen” Christmas special, including musical performances and a new episode in which Mother Mary (a series character played by Vanessa Benavente) flashes back to her son’s birth. Distributor Fathom Events, known for one- or two- day releases of classic movies, live opera and other specialty fare, expanded the “Chosen” event to 10 days. Ticket sales are approaching $6 million so far, putting “Christmas with ‘The Chosen’” on track to be Fathom’s bestseller ever, according to chief executive Ray Nutt.

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November 28, 2021 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, November 8, 2021

Rick Cupp Receives Pepperdine University's Highest Teaching Honor

Congratulations to my friend and colleague Rick Cupp, John W. Wade Professor of Law, recipient of Pepperdine University's highest teaching honor, the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence:

CuppThis annual award honors the legacy of Pepperdine University's fifth president, Howard A. White, who was a gifted teacher, history scholar, and a faithful steward of the University throughout his 30 years of service to Pepperdine. The highest distinction given at Pepperdine for teaching, the Howard A. White Award recognizes outstanding educators who embody the institution's commitment to excellence. This award highlights the work of educators who inspire and challenge students to think critically and creatively as well as those who instill in their students a lifetime love of learning. ...

Richard L. Cupp, Jr., John W. Wade Professor of Law, Caruso School of LawProfessor Cupp is an exceptional teacher. He makes learning fun, holds interesting class discussions, and is dedicated to helping students outside the classroom. I have never had a professor take such a personal interest in me and my academic success.

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November 8, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11th At Pepperdine

September 11

Today is a very special day at Pepperdine. For the 14th consecutive year, we displayed 2,887 American flags for each American life lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and 90 international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad who also were killed.

Pepperdine University to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with Annual Waves of Flags Display and Remembrance Events:

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September 11, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire An Entry-Level Tax Prof

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law:

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

The School of Law is an ABA-accredited, AALS member law school located in Malibu, California. Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. The School of Law welcomes applications from people of all faiths and is particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who would contribute to the diversity and excellence of the faculty. Pepperdine University is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, disability, prior military service or sexual orientation.

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

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

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

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire An Associate Director of Career Development

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

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

Duties

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

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Pepperdine Caruso Law Grad And 2021 All-American Tennis Player Jessica Failla On Faith, Competition, And Community

The Pepperdine Beacon, 2021 All-American Athlete Jessica Failla on Faith, Competition, and Community:

JessicaAs she concludes her time at Pepperdine, Jessica Failla leaves as an All-American and as the #1 college tennis player on the UTR from January to March of 2021. She won the 2020 ITA National Summer Championships and was the All Tournaments Team #1 Player at National Indoors 2021. Most recently, she competed with Pepperdine’s women’s tennis team where she was the first player in program history to win their singles match in the NCAA Team Finals, scoring their first team point of the finals. The team ultimately finished as the runner-up in the NCAA finals (also best in program history).

She said the opportunity to get to the finals was “just an amazing culmination of six years of playing college tennis.”

Before any of this though, in 2017 Jessica transferred from USC to Pepperdine because she was looking for a university that offered a great tennis program, a rigorous education, and a strong spiritual life community. She found all three at Pepperdine.

“Pepperdine was the perfect fit for me and transferring there was definitely one of the best decisions that I ever made,” she said.

Jessica majored in International Studies-Politics at Seaver, and also holds degrees in the masters in Dispute Resolution and Legal Studies from the Caruso School of Law.

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August 22, 2021 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

Best Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2021):

This year, we’re honoring 65 schools, but every law school invests in practical training. The American Bar Association requires that law students take at least six “experiential credits,” even though some experts cite that figure as being too low. Law schools have been criticized in the past for not producing grads ready to take on real jobs. Expanding practical training offerings beyond the ABA’s requirement has been one response.

Practical Training Methodology
We graded schools on a number of data points, focusing on key practical training offerings such as clinics, externships, simulation courses, pro bono hours and moot trial participation.

Best-schools-for-practical-training

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August 12, 2021 in Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, August 9, 2021

Welcome, Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class Of 2024

Launch Week (2021)

Welcome to the members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class of 2024 who begin their legal education today in a week-long introduction to law school and professional formation, as well as the over 400 students pursuing jointLL.M., and masters degrees and certificates, including our LL.M. and certificate programs in Entertainment, Media, and Sports and our online masters in Legal Studies and Dispute Resolution and our online LL.M. in Dispute Resolution.

Our incoming J.D. class is the first to enter our re-named Rick J. Caruso School of Law. We are thrilled that, after being physically separated for 886 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are gathered together today in person. A much higher than expected yield rate produced a class of over 200 1Ls (much larger than our 180 enrollment target), with the highest median LSAT scores (164) and undergraduate GPAs (3.80) in our history, as well as more students of color and first-generation students for the fourth year in a row. 

This is my fifth year as Dean, and I am thrilled that you have decided to join our very special law school community. You will learn and study on our spectacularly beautiful campus in Malibu with easy access to Los Angeles, one of the world's most vibrant cities for young professionals. Beginning today you will experience the faculty and staff's faith-fueled commitment to you and to your success that manifests itself in various ways, large and small, in daily life at Pepperdine Caruso Law. My fervent wish is that you will love your time here as I have since joining the faculty in 2013, and that you will leave here with a deep sense of your professional and personal calling in law and in life.

This is an especially exciting time at Pepperdine Caruso Law. In March, we rose to #46 in the U.S. News law school rankings, for the second year in a row the highest ranking in our school's history. We are well positioned with the resources provided by our $50 million naming gift to continue our ascent. 

August 9, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Chosen: Christian America’s Must-See TV Show

The Chosen
The Atlantic, Christian America’s Must-See TV Show:

Have you heard about the hit Jesus TV show? The one that launched with a more than $10 million crowdfunding drive? And that streams for free from its own app, where the view counter has surpassed 194 million as of this writing? And that is honestly much better than I expected?

By the standards of independent media, The Chosen is a success. On Easter Sunday, 750,000 people tuned in to live-stream the Season 2 premiere; for comparison, the first episode of HBO’s Mare of Easttown attracted 1 million viewers that same month. Yet The Chosen—which presents the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples as a multi-season drama with imaginative character backstories and interpersonal conflicts—has been a largely underground phenomenon. Until its appearance on NBC’s Peacock earlier this year, The Chosen wasn’t on a major cable network or TV streaming service. Most mainstream publications have not reviewed it, though scattered reports mention its crowdfunding drives (in sum, the largest ever for a media project). You could pay close attention to the television industry and not know The Chosen exists. That’s because the show’s success so far has arrived not in spite of its insularity, but because of it.

The Chosen RatingTake it from a critic and a Christian with an aversion to Christian entertainment: The show is good. I’d stop short of calling The Chosen a prestige drama, but it looks and feels downright secular. Despite a wonky accent here and there, the acting is as strong as you’d see on a mainstream network series such as Friday Night Lights or This Is Us. A tracking shot lasting more than 13 minutes opened one recent episode—a typical technique for a filmmaker to flex their skills. The storytelling even inspired me to comply with the show’s promotional hashtag and (ugh) #BingeJesus. ...

Although The Chosen stays faithful to the broad trajectory of the Christian Bible, it also creates some speculative backstories. Scripture mentions Jesus exorcising a demon from Mary Magdalene as almost a passing detail; The Chosen centers it in a tale that explains her subsequent devotion to Christ. Jews who collected taxes for Rome were considered traitors, so the show’s writers depict Matthew the tax collector as on the autism spectrum, reasoning that a social outcast might gravitate toward a profitable but thankless job. The account of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding might be well known, but in the show, the miracle also saves the bride’s working-class parents from embarrassing the groom’s wealthy father.

The goal, Jenkins told me, was to come up with plausible scenarios that still jibe with the holy book. “We’re not trying to contradict the Bible,” he said. “We’re just trying to build a show around the Bible and tell stories that we think are compelling.” As a viewer who grew up attending church and has made studying scripture a central part of my adult life, I’ve found this approach consistently rewarding.

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July 11, 2021 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Tax Prof Wedding (Video)

Following up on last Sunday's post, Tax Prof Wedding:

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July 4, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Tax Prof Wedding

Parenthood is filled with many joyous moments, made sweeter by the challenging times. But nothing in my parenting journey can compare to hosting a rehearsal dinner on Friday night and officiating at my son's marriage on Saturday:

Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

My toast: 

Some of you know the story that Courtney and I came to our faith in Cincinnati. One of the key elements for me was spending several years in a small group of six men where we would talk about our faith and our lives. We also would occasionally get together for dinner with our wives. At the first dinner in 2003, one of the wives told the story that from the time she was a little girl, she prayed every day for God to bring the right man in her life to marry. God had answered that prayer with her husband. Courtney shouted out “I wish I had thought of that!”

Courtney and I have spent the past 18 years praying each day for God to bring the right life partner for Reed and Jayne, and we are so thankful that God answered that prayer by bringing Sara into Reed’s life. Last week we hosted a dinner that included two Sikhs. They each told the story of how, following their culture, their parents had arranged marriages for them, and how it worked out wonderfully. I can honestly say that if we could have chosen Reed’s wife, we would have chosen Sara. And Sara, you have chosen well in choosing Reed to be your husband.

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June 27, 2021 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (9)

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Getting To Know 0Ls

My wife Courtney and I just completed hosting our fifth annual round of meetings with Pepperdine Caruso Law's incoming 1L students. Last year, due to the pandemic, we replaced our usual Dinner With The Dean in our home with a virtual Coffee With The Carons.  This year, as California emerges from the pandemic, we offered both formats and hosted eight outdoor dinners in our yard for vaccinated students and six virtual coffees for unvaccinated and out-of-state students. 

0L Dinner 8

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June 20, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Assistant Vice Chancellor And Senior Director Of Development

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law seeks to hire an Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development. This is a wonderful opportunity for the right person to help build on our success over the past four years in raising over $80 million in gifts and pledges (including our $50 million naming gift and five other gifts and pledges of $1 million or more). Rebecca Malzahn held the position before her recent promotion to Vice Chancellor for Development at Pepperdine University and will continue to assist the law school in our fundraising.

Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development, Caruso School of Law
Pepperdine Law (Ocean)The Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development will have primary responsibility for developing, organizing, leading, and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program and strategies for the Caruso School of Law and plays an important front-line fundraising role. As a major gift officer, this position will be expected to personally raise major gifts in support of the dean’s fundraising priorities, focusing on donors with a capacity of $100K to $1M+. In addition, the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Director of Development will mentor and supervise the Director, Law Associates, the annual giving officer at the Caruso School of Law whose primary focus is on gifts of $1K to $25K. The success of our mission to strengthen lives for purpose, service, and leadership depends in a large part on strong financial support from donors who enable us to provide the facilities, programs, faculty, and opportunities necessary to provide stellar, mission driven programs for our students.

Duties

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June 3, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Pepperdine Seeks To Hire Two Visiting LRW Professors

Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law seeks to hire two Visiting Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing. We will be conducting a national search in Fall 2021 for two Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing to begin in the 2022-23 academic year. Successful applicants for the Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing positions are encouraged to apply for these positions.

Pepperdine Campus (022521)Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law seeks two Visiting Assistant Professors of Legal Research and Writing to teach for the 2021-2022 academic year. Each Visiting Professor will teach two sections of our year-long, two-unit-per-semester LRW course, with approximately 45 total students per professor. We have a warm, collaborative LRW faculty team. The LRW faculty creates all course materials together and provides each other with significant support. The position comes with a market-competitive salary, employment benefits, and the title of Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing.

Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, possess excellent academic credentials, be committed to teaching Legal Research and Writing, and support the goals and mission of the University. Applicants should have at least two years of post-J.D. experience in a position or positions requiring substantial legal writing.

The Caruso School of Law is an ABA accredited, AALS member law school located in Malibu, California. Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. The Caruso School of Law welcomes applications from people of all faiths and is particularly interested in receiving applications from candidates who may bring greater racial, ethnic, and gender diversity to the faculty of the School of Law.

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June 2, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Congratulations, Pepperdine Caruso Law Classes Of 2020 And 2021

Graduation

We were delighted to be able to host in person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 (Friday) and Class of 2020 (Saturday) on the Pepperdine campus. We are grateful to Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for delivering the commencement address both days.

May 23, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Pepperdine Women's Tennis Team Loses In Division I Final To Texas

Pepperdine Women 2

Congratulations to the Pepperdine women's tennis team, who marched through the NCAA Division I Tournament and beat Stanford, Michigan, UCLA, and North Carolina before a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Texas in tonight's championship final in Orlando.

May 22, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Friday, May 21, 2021

Pepperdine Caruso Law Baccalaureate Service

We hosted a Baccalaureate Service last night for our Classes of 2020 and 2021 and their families last night before today's commencement. The highlight was the beautiful singing by Asha Madhukar ('19) and powerful spoken word poem delivered by Zach Carstens ('21). 

Baccalaureate 1A

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May 21, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Prepping For Tomorrow Night's Pepperdine Caruso Law Baccalaureate Service

I did one of my favorite dean duties today:  signing the Pepperdine Caruso Law Bibles we will be giving out at tomorrow night's Baccalaureate Service for our Classes of 2021 and 2020 and their families. Over 150 people have registered for the event — our first in person community-wide gathering in 14 months.

Bibles 3

This is our third Baccalaureate Service — I had not yet discovered my Zoom casual attire back in 2019

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May 19, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US News Law Logo (2022)By now many of you have seen the news that Pepperdine Caruso Law ranks has risen to #46 in the 2022 U.S. News Law School Rankings. This is the highest ranking in the 50+year history of our law school. 

Our 26-point improvement in three years is the second largest increase of any law school among the Top 100 law schools as ranked by U.S. News (behind only Texas A&M (formerly Texas Wesleyan) from #92 to #53).

We do not chase rankings at Pepperdine Caruso Law. Every decision we make is guided by a single question: what is in the best interest of our students? Often those decisions produce a rankings benefit as well, and we gladly reap those results. I am pleased that our rankings rise is driven by the increasing quality of our students, the improved outcomes achieved by our graduates, the additional resources we have been able to deploy to improve our students’ educational experience, and our growing reputation among legal academics, lawyers, and judges.

Pepperdine Caruso Law also was recognized by U.S. News with Top 50 rankings in four specialty programs based on our reputation among faculty in those fields:  #3 in dispute resolution, #36 in trial advocacy, #39 in tax law, and #49 in international law

We are proud of our past, excited by all we have accomplished thus far, and exhilarated at what we will be able to achieve in the future with the additional resources provided by Rick J. Caruso's $50 million naming gift.

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

Saturday, March 20, 2021

(Wild)Life On The Pepperdine Campus

Living on the Pepperdine campus these past nine years, we have seen deer, coyotes, and mountain lions. Today was the first bobcat sighting (strolling on a friend's patio):

Bobcat
 

March 20, 2021 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Jennifer Lee Koh Joins Pepperdine Caruso Law Faculty

Pepperdine Caruso Law Welcomes Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law:

Koh (2021)Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is pleased to welcome Jennifer Lee Koh as an Associate Professor of Law. Beginning this coming fall, Professor Koh will be teaching courses related to immigration law, criminal law, and ethics, as well as co-directing the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics. She has previously taught at University of California, Irvine School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, Stanford Law School, and Western State College of Law.

Professor Koh's scholarship focuses on the convergence of the immigration enforcement and criminal legal systems. Her most recent article, Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, will be published in the Yale Law Journal. Her previous work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Duke Law Journal OnlineFlorida Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Stanford Law Review OnlineWashington University Law ReviewWisconsin Law Review, and Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Dean Paul Caron said "we're thrilled that Jennifer will be joining our faculty. She is an outstanding teacher, spectacular scholar, and wonderful colleague. When Jennifer visited campus as part of the recruiting process, she brought her husband, two young children, and parents -- we're delighted that they all will be part of our Pepperdine Caruso Law family."

Professor Koh was drawn to Pepperdine because of its Christian mission and commitment to integrating religious faith in legal education and the legal profession. She participated in three annual conferences hosted by the Nootbaar Institute and published an essay, Agape, Grace and Immigration Law: An Evangelical Perspective, in a book collection co-edited by Professor Bob Cochran.

"I'm honored to join the extraordinary community of faculty, staff, administrators and students at Pepperdine Caruso Law. I have long admired the law school's tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, commitment to global justice, and history of bringing faith-based perspectives to the law," said Professor Koh. "Pepperdine is the ideal place to pursue my calling to teach and write about law, which I aspire to do with the goal of seeking justice."

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February 24, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Belonging At Pepperdine

Baccalureate Service (2019)   Pepperdine Caruso Law School Baccalaureate Service (May 16, 2019)

Jim Gash (President, Pepperdine University), How We Belong:

The year 2020 was unlike anything the world has ever seen. Our nation has been gripped by a once-in-a-century pandemic. The economic fallout has hurt millions of families and businesses. We have witnessed America's renewed commitment to deliver fully on its highest ideals and the promise that all people are created equal, which has shined a spotlight on racial justice and reconciliation. After a year of so much uncertainty and distance and pain, many have been left frequently wondering how we come together. Where, in the midst of this uncharted journey forward, do we still find togetherness and a genuine sense of belonging?

As a community of believers, our answer is in God's love for us and our love for each other. When I began my presidency, I shared that bringing together our entire Waves community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends would be among my highest priorities for Pepperdine. God designed people to thrive in community, and he commands us to love one another deeply. In John 13:34–35, Jesus said, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

This powerful testament of divine love is at the root of belonging and togetherness, but we must also have the courage to build a unified community that celebrates and uplifts the distinctiveness of each individual. Deepening relationships with those who are different from us—and with whom we may even disagree—matters. An intentional focus on each of these efforts is how we will be better disciples of the Lord and the only way to create a lasting community of belonging at the University and around the world.

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January 31, 2021 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Friday, January 1, 2021

My New Year's Wish For 2021

This was my final time in my office in 2020:

Office 2020

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

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

Thursday, December 24, 2020

What Do You Say To Students, Staff, Faculty, And Alumni Who Have Soldiered Through A Pandemic With You?

Pepperdine Cross And Ocean 1

Dear 1Ls,

I want to send you a special note to say how proud we all are of you and your class. The first semester of law school is notoriously difficult. I still have vivid memories of my 1L year forty years ago, including the joy I felt when I completed my Fall 1L exams. You have successfully completed your Fall 1L semester during the most challenging time in the history of our law school. You have shown remarkable resilience, grit, and kindness toward each other. You are, indeed, a very special class. I am confident you will be incredible leaders and advocates.

We eagerly await the day when we will be able to safely gather together in community. I want each and every one of you to know that the administration, faculty, and staff are 100% committed to doing everything in our power to provide you with the absolute best experience possible — academically, personally, and spiritually. On Day 1, my wife Courtney and I will begin inviting you to our on-campus home for dinner, in small groups of 8-10 students. In the meantime, we are praying that you and your loved ones have a safe and restful holiday season and a new year filled with bountiful blessings. No class has ever deserved it more.

Dean Caron

Dear Students,

Congratulations to all of you on completing a uniquely difficult semester. At every milestone in 2020, we hoped and prayed that by the next, we would be on campus together. At each such milestone, you have been called upon to rise to the unforeseen challenge of continued remote learning and physical separation from our community, and you have done so with grace, enthusiasm, perseverance, and commitment to your class work.

You are the first students to start an academic year at our newly named Caruso School of Law. I could not be prouder of what you have accomplished despite our distance from each other. You have organized and participated in numerous virtual events at the law school, won awards in national advocacy competitions, published papers in leading journals, and participated in various student-led groups, all while juggling your studies and home lives. In normal times, your accomplishments fill me with pride. In these times, they also fill me with awe.

While your attention has been likely focused on exams, I hope that you are now able to embrace the upcoming holiday season with joy. It is a time of rest, rejuvenation, and celebration of the gifts we each have in our lives. You are among the most precious gifts in my own life, and I look forward to supporting your growth and victories in the new year.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Dean Caron

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December 24, 2020 in Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 30, 2020

Black Lawyers Matter: Strategies To Enhance Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion

Black Lawyers Matter 2I am honored to have the opportunity to update my remarks on A Dean's Perspective on Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings as part of a panel at today's virtual conference on Black Lawyers Matter: Strategies To Enhance Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion (more here):

Moderator: 
Leonard M. Baynes (Dean, Houston)

Panelists:
Robert B. Ahdieh (Dean, Texas A&M)
Paul L. Caron (Dean, Pepperdine)
Robert Morse (Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News & World Report)
Victor Quintanilla (Indiana)
Kellye Testy (President & CEO, Law School Admission Council)

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Black Lawyers Matter: The Symposium:

The numbers tell the story of a legal profession divided by race. Less than 8% of first-year law students in 2019 were Black.

In California, 53% of Black bar examinees passed between 2009 and 2018. That figure was 80% for white examinees.

The percentage of 2019 Black law graduates who found jobs requiring a law degree within 10 months was 62%, compared to 80% for white law graduates. And in 2020, white shoe law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore had no Black partners.

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October 30, 2020 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Faculty And Staff Find Silver Linings Amid Loss And Isolation During COVID-19

The Graphic, Faculty and Staff Find Silver Linings Amid Loss and Isolation During COVID-19:

Caron Graphic PhotoThe pandemic and social distancing precautions bleed into all aspects of life for University members. Health concerns, COVID-19 related deaths in the community and fully remote instruction continue to impact faculty and staff.

Within the Pepperdine community, the University reported 58 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths since March. Pepperdine decided to conduct classes completely online this semester due to continuing health concerns and restrictions.

Pepperdine faculty and staff struggle with feelings of isolation, adjusting to an online format and the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19. Amid the adverse effects of the pandemic, certain silver linings have emerged — more time with immediate family, improved connections with distant friends and peers and a greater sense of gratitude for in-person time with students, friends and coworkers. ...

The Pepperdine community also faced loss during this time, including the death of Professor of Law James M. McGoldrick on May 16 due to COVID-19 complications. Dean of the Caruso School of Law Paul L. Caron said McGoldrick was “an institution at the law school” as the longest-serving faculty member, and his death greatly impacted students, faculty and staff.

“He contacted me on a Saturday right before they were going to be putting him on a ventilator,” Caron said. “He wanted to talk about how he would assign other faculty to finish his course. That story just really hit the faculty — that at that moment, his concern was for his students.”

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October 23, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

History Is Happening Tonight At 6:00 PM PT On Zoom

At the Pepperdine Caruso Law Christian Legal Society weekly bible study:  "What I Wish I Knew About Justice When I Was a Law Student"

CLS

September 16, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)