Paul L. Caron
Dean





Thursday, May 9, 2024

Law School Dean Developments

Law.com, 'Dean Developments': Several Deans Move Long Distance:

There may be a calm before the storm with only three dean changes within the past month, but June and July are prime time for dean moves.

The University of Buffalo School of Law has named a permanent dean [S. Todd Brown], as its former dean [Aviva Abramovsky] heads to Idaho. Meanwhile, an Albany Law School professor [Alicia Ouellette] is moving to the West Coast to take on a new role as dean.

Plus, the New York University School of Law has launched a new lab focusing on environmental justice, and Paul Caron celebrates 20 years of publishing the TaxProf Blog. ...

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May 9, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News | Permalink

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Deanna Newton Joins Pepperdine Tax Faculty

Deanna Newton, Caruso Family Faculty Fellow at Pepperdine Caruso Law School, will join the Pepperdine Caruso Law tenure-track faculty in August.

NewtonDeanna received her B.A. in political science from Loyola Marymount University in 2013; J.D. from Pepperdine Caruso Law School in 2017; and LL.M. in taxation from  Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2018. She returned to Los Angeles and worked in KPMG's International Tax Group, where she advised multinational enterprises on tax planning matters, first as an Associate and then as a Senior Associate, from 2018-2022. Deanna taught Federal Income Tax as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine Caruso Law in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

In Fall 2022, Deanna was named the inaugural Caruso Family Faculty Fellow. The fellowship program is designed to help attorneys successfully transition from practice to tenure-track faculty positions.

Deanna taught Federal Income Tax in the 2022-2023 academic year and Federal Income Tax and Tax Policy in the 2023-2024 academic year. In 2023, she received the Waves of Excellence Teaching Award, the Waves of Excellence Service Award, and the Faculty Award at the Belonging Awards. Deanna primary research interests are international tax and tax policy. She has written two tax articles that have been accepted for publication in leading law reviews:

April 30, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Pepperdine Caruso Law 3L Commissioning Service

Commissioning Service Program

We hosted our 13th annual 3L Commissioning Service at Pepperdine Caruso Law last week. Like many of the best things at our school, it is 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.

I was honored to give a gift to our 3Ls to encourage them to live the lives that God has called them to after they graduate: a paperweight to keep on their desks to remind them (on the top) of their time at Pepperdine Caruso Law and (on the bottom) a single word — the most powerful word that Jesus talked about and modeled for us — forgiveness. I shared several of the forgiveness stories I have chronicled on this blog, including this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this.

Forgiveness

The highlight of the evening was when our faculty and staff spoke words of life over each of the graduating 3Ls (kudos to Tyler Clark (JD '12) for beginning this wonderful tradition):

Johnson Cupp

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April 21, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, April 15, 2024

20-Year Anniversary Of TaxProf Blog

Happy Anniversary

Today (April 15, of course) marks the 20-year anniversary of TaxProf Blog (and the 29-year anniversary of the TaxProf Email Discussion Group). In 2004, I was in my fourteenth year on the University of Cincinnati College of Law faculty. I would be taking my son (age 13) to a ranch in Northern California (JH Ranch) that summer, and would return with my daughter (age 11) in summer 2005. 

It has been a wonderful ride, professionally, personally, and spiritually, these past twenty years. I have written over 52,000 posts (my first post is here), and TaxProf Blog has received over 200,000,000 page views.  The blog played a role in my selection as dean in 2017 —indeed, I may be the only dean in America with a contract provision encouraging me to continue to blog! I could not have done so without the wonderful work of my assistants the past seven years, especially the spectacular Kellie Kamimoto since June 2021.

I'm not sure how much longer I will keep TaxProf Blog going, but I am grateful for the many people who come for the tax, legal education, and faith content. (If you would like to receive a daily email with links to that day's tax or legal education posts, or a weekly email with links to Sunday's faith posts, please email me.) 

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April 15, 2024 in About This Blog, Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Daily | Permalink | Comments (4)

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates Founding Dean Ron Phillips

On April 6, Pepperdine University paid tribute to one of the most significant figures in its history—Ronald F. Phillips, founding dean and dean emeritus of the Caruso School of Law. Alumni, faculty, staff, and friends shared their stories of the profound impact Dean Phillips has made on their lives. Thanks to the generosity of the Pepperdine community, the University far exceeded our fundraising goal to endow the Ronald F. Phillips Chair at the law school. In fact, we have raised $5.7 million, a demonstration of just how incredibly grateful our University family is for Dean Phillips’ transformative years of service and leadership.

And one stunning announcement led to another: If our Caruso Law community can raise an additional $1 million, Pepperdine will match those gifts with a $3.5 million contribution and establish a second endowed chair in honor of Dean Phillips’ beloved wife Jamie. Caruso Law will be able to attract not one but two of the world’s finest legal scholars to shape our students for purpose-driven lives of outstanding servant leadership and help lift our school’s standards of academic excellence to even greater heights.

As we get closer to meeting this goal and accelerating Caruso Law’s trajectory toward becoming the world’s premier Christian law school, we humbly ask you to help us build on this unprecedented momentum by making a gift to the law school today and ensuring that Dean Phillips and Jamie’s legacies endure forever. You can make your gift online at this link.

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April 14, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Justice Alito Delivers Keynote Address At Dinner Celebrating Launch Of Ken Starr Institute For Faith, Law, And Public Service At Pepperdine Caruso Law

Washington Examiner, Samuel Alito Says US Legacy Is ‘Mutual Respect’ Between Religions During Speech at Ken Starr Institute Dinner:

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito believes the everlasting legacy of the United States is the “mutual respect” of diverse religious viewpoints, according to his keynote speech for the launch of Pepperdine University’s Ken Starr Institute for Faith, Law, and Public Service last week.

Alito’s speech was in reflection on the late Ken Starr, solicitor general for former president George W. Bush who also served as independent counsel from 1994 to 1998 in the investigation that led to former President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment. Starr was a dean at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Malibu, California, from 2004 to 2010, and the college announced its novel institute that bears his name at a private-ticketed event at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 4.

Standing before a crowd of more than 250 attendees at the dinner event, Alito said he often considers what historians will think of the United States “hundreds and hundreds of years from now.”

“I hope that one thing they will say if they are asked ‘how did the United States contribute to the development of civilization’ is this: The United States of America taught the world that it is possible for a religiously diverse population to live together amicably, harmoniously, and productively with mutual respect,” said Alito, an appointee of Bush.

Starr Dinner (030424) (Caron)Pepperdine Caruso Law School Dean Paul Caron gives remarks about the Ken Starr Institute at a dinner event Monday at the Congressional Club in Bethesda, Maryland. ...

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March 17, 2024 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, March 11, 2024

What Best Prepares You For The Practice Of Law?

What Best Prepares You for the Practice of Law?, Nat'l Jurist, Winter 2024, at 19:

Lavinia OsilesiIn recent years, law schools have ramped up their efforts to help students build their professional identities, spurred by an American Bar Association requirement to do so. ...

Lavinia Osilesi, who started at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in California in 2016, said her first-year curriculum included a course on professional identity formation, which addressed topics such as academic success, ethics, character building and professional development.

She also participated in the school’s Preceptor Program, where she was paired with a practicing alum in her area of interest.

“The most impactful part of the program was the mentorship I received from my preceptor,” Osilesi said. “She helped me navigate foundational 1L courses, prepare study plans for exams, expand my network, learn about different practice areas and develop a deeper understanding of the opportunities I could pursue as an attorney.”

Osilesi said her professional formation training helped her learn a great deal about herself.

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March 11, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2024):

These 59 law schools are the best schools for practical training — helping to mold law students into courtroom-ready professionals through various hands-on externship and clinic experiences. ... 

Law schools have faced criticism for failing to turn out attorneys ready for practice. That has prompted a shift toward more comprehensive practical training programs. 

In the past few years, schools have added more offerings, and every year preLaw highlights the schools that do practical training best. ... 

Best schools for practical training 2024

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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March 5, 2024 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Third Annual Nootbaar Fellows Workshop And Conference: Charting The Future Of Church And State

Pepperdine Caruso Law School's Nootbaar Institute For Law, Religion, and Ethics held a series of wonderful events this week:

Francisco-verrilliWednesday: Religious Liberty Salon: Celebrating the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Religious Liberty Clinic

  • Noel Francisco (Jones Day, Washington, D.C.; 47th Solicitor General of the United States 
  • Eric Rassbach (Vice President & Senior Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty)
  • Megan Lacy Owen (Jones Day, Washington, D.C.)

Thursday:  Third Annual Nootbaar Fellows Workshop

Thursday: Open Conversation With Solicitor Generals of the United States Under Presidents Obama and Trump:

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February 11, 2024 in Conferences, Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Scholarship | Permalink

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Uganda: A Trip Nothing Short Of Life-Changing For Law Students And Lawyers

Pepperdine Beacon, Uganda: A Trip Nothing Short of Life-Changing:

SGJII“I came away from that moment, saying if that’s all I ever got to do with my law degree, it was one hundred percent worth it.” ...

Sherri Sturgeon, professor of law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and associate director for Student and Professional Engagement, had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Uganda last spring to plea bargain alongside U.S. attorneys and law students. ...

Aware of Pepperdine’s Uganda programs, Sturgeon applied for and worked toward a Master’s in Dispute Resolution at the Caruso School of Law. She planned for a trip to Uganda during her 2L year in 2020, only to have it canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Fortunately, an opportunity arose in the spring of 2023 after she had graduated, making her a U.S. attorney on the trip rather than a U.S. law student.

Spending ten days in Uganda, Sturgeon and fellow students and attorneys went straight to work on plea bargaining cases. After studying the defendant’s files, Sturgeon and her team would meet with the defendants, preparing for their appearance before the judge. Discussing with both the prosecutors and the defendants, Sturgeon would negotiate the most optimal sentence for her client.

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January 21, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Higher Education Must Reclaim Its Higher Purpose: Value And Virtue

Newsweek Op-Ed:  To Revitalize Higher Ed, Colleges Should Care About Character, by Jim Gash (President, Pepperdine University):

Newsweek (2022)Higher education must realize and reclaim its foundational higher purpose, which is to develop and equip people of value and virtue who in turn infuse value and virtue in their communities, countries, and the rest of the world.

To accomplish this, colleges must form academic communities that appreciate viewpoint diversity, safeguard academic freedom, and stimulate intellectual curiosity. ...

Colleges must take an active role in nurturing students' understanding of and appreciation for foundational American values, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, and a free press. Students should grow in their understanding of these fundamental rights, the stories of the (admittedly flawed) heroes who secured and defended those rights, and their responsibility to preserve these freedoms for future generations. If taught to and embraced by students in college, these values will be embedded in our communities and strengthen the democratic process for generations to come. As the late educational reformer John Dewey once said, "Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife."

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January 14, 2024 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Monday, January 8, 2024

Pepperdine Hosts Junior Tax Scholars Writing Retreat

Junior Tax Profs at Pepperdine

Pepperdine Caruso Law was delighted to host a group of junior tax professors last week for a winter writing retreat:  Luis Calderon-Gomez (Cardozo), Conor Clarke (Washington University), Maynard Goldburn (Indiana-Kelley Business School), Nyamagaga Gondwe (Wisconsin), Luke Maher (Seattle), Jeesoo Nam (USC), Deanna Newton (Pepperdine), and Alex Zhang (Emory). The only bummer: I was at the AALS Annual Meeting all week and didn't have the opportunity to spend any time with these wonderful young tax scholars. Hopefully next year!

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January 8, 2024 in Books, Conferences, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily | Permalink

Friday, January 5, 2024

Please Join Us: Pepperdine Caruso Law AALS Reception TODAY (6:00-8:00 PM)

Beach Pepperdine Logo

Pepperdine Caruso Law School invites law professors and deans to a reception
hosted by Dean Paul Caron at the 2024 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Friday, Jan. 5, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Tulip Room (2nd Floor Mezzanine) | Marriott Marquis (Headquarter Hotel)
Please join us for local California wine & beer and hors d'oeuvres

January 5, 2024 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily | Permalink

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Today's AALS Tax Highlights

Aals annual meeting 2024
Section on Taxation, Taxation and Democracy 
10-11:40 AM Independence Salon A, Level M4, Marriott Marquis 

Taxation plays a fundamental role in democratic societies. This panel will focus on the relationship between tax policy and democratic principles. It will explore the various roles that tax policy plays in shaping our democracy and consider innovative approaches to advancing tax policy that enhances democratic values.

  • Steven A. Dean (Boston University) 
  • Francine J. Lipman (UNLV) 
  • Orly Mazur (SMU) (moderator) 
  • Clinton G. Wallace (South Carolina) 

Section on European Law, Co-Sponsored by Comparative Law and Taxation, EU Fiscal Federalism and the U.S. Perspective
1-2:40 PM Mount Vernon Square, Level M3, Marriott Marquis 

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January 3, 2024 in Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax Conferences, Teaching | Permalink

California Law Students Provide Pro Bono Help To Struggling Maui Residents After Wildfires

Fox News, California Law Students Provide Pro Bono Help to Struggling Maui Residents After Wildfires:

MauiA group of law students at Pepperdine University's Caruso School of Law are helping with the legal side of recovery after the devastating wildfires in Maui in August.

The students are volunteering through the Pepperdine Caruso Law Pro Bono Program, which is part of the school's Clinical Education Program.

"Under the leadership of Professors Jeff Baker and Peter Fendel, about 20 Pepperdine Law students volunteered their time and legal skills to assist Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) in providing assistance to citizens of Maui who lost their homes and/or businesses in the wildfires," Caruso School of Law student Matteson Landau told Fox News Digital. ...

Pepperdine's students were particularly inspired to assist those in Hawaii in part due to the school's recent history. "The Pepperdine community knows firsthand the tragic effects of wildfires, as our own campus and city was affected by the Malibu Woolsey Fire in 2018," said Landau. Pepperdine University is located in Malibu. 

After that fire, Baker "was inspired to develop a legal aid program for disaster relief, and students at that time learned how to file FEMA applications and draft appeal letters," Landau said. ...

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January 3, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Please Join Us: Pepperdine Caruso Law AALS Reception (Friday, Jan. 5)

Beach Pepperdine Logo

Pepperdine Caruso Law School invites law professors and deans to a reception
hosted by Dean Paul Caron at the 2024 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Friday, Jan. 5, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Tulip Room (2nd Floor Mezzanine) | Marriott Marquis (Headquarters Hotel)
Please join us for local California wine & beer and hors d'oeuvres

January 2, 2024 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Daily | Permalink

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Universities Must Preserve American Values: Freedom, Faith And Self-Governance — Leavened With Humility

The Messenger Op-Ed: Universities Must Preserve American Values, by Jim Gash (President, Pepperdine University):

It seems every week produces another story of intolerance, hate, or worse on college and university campuses across the nation. As society rightfully expresses concern about students engaged in such behavior, it is past time for higher education administrators to take on their responsibility to cultivate academic communities that embody America’s founding virtues.

The Founders’ idea was truly revolutionary: citizens from all walks of life, religions, and political persuasions mutually submitting themselves not to the authority of a king or queen, but to the rule of law. The strength of this idea is rooted in a people who so valued the rule of law that they would even die to protect the freedoms established in the Constitution.

Our Founders believed that freedom, faith and self-governance — leavened with humility — are interwoven and indispensable foundational values upon which a pluralistic and enduring society can flourish. More than any institutions, perhaps other than the family and houses of worship, our schools are responsible for cultivating the character and resilience required of a productive citizenry capable of reaffirming the American experiment.

At Pepperdine University, which I lead, character formation is at the heart of our mission. It is why we are passionate about what our students learn. But we are even more focused on who they are becoming. James Phinney Munroe, an MIT scholar who was successful in business, leadership and education, perhaps said it best: “The question to be asked at the end of an educational step is not, ‘What has the student learned?’ but, ‘What has the student become?'” ...

Our Founders also knew the value of faith. They had experienced the threats to a free expression of it, and they knew it was a value not only to be held individually, but to be defended collectively. Religious liberty goes hand-in-hand with freedom of thought, speech and viewpoint diversity.

Universities must help students to understand that their value isn’t derived from temporal sources. Dignity and worth are inherent and God-given (the Founders would say “endowed by their Creator”). “Likes” on social media are fleeting and fickle. ...

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December 10, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law At The Supreme Court

Supreme Court Bar Swearing In (120423)

I had the honor yesterday morning of moving the admission of eleven Pepperdine Caruso Law alumni and friends into the U.S. Supreme Court Bar:

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December 5, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Newton Presents Closing the Opportunity Gap Today At Pepperdine

Deanna Newton (Pepperdine) presents Closing the Opportunity Gap at Pepperdine today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series hosted by Jacob Charles: 

Newton (2023)Opportunity Zones are low-income areas or economically distressed communities in the United States. The Opportunity Zone program encourages investment in low-income areas or economically distressed communities by offering investors tax benefits. Scholars have found little evidence that Opportunity Zones positively impact zone residents’ lives, concluding that Opportunity Zone legislation mostly benefits wealthy investors and should be reformed to benefit community members better. Investors are currently not required to finance projects geared toward the needs of local communities; they are instead funding developments they would have already invested in, whether located in an Opportunity Zone or not. This Article argues that current reform efforts and related scholarship do not give adequate weight to active and direct participation by community members and investors as it relates to economic development tax incentives. It argues for a comprehensive framework that focuses on active, direct, and transformative participation by community members and investors.

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November 14, 2023 in Colloquia, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Pepperdine Tax, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Ed Larson, Tom Stipanowich, And Ahmed Taha Win Pepperdine University Faculty Awards

Congratulations to my friends and colleagues Ed Larson, Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law and University Professor, Tom Stipanowich, William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law, and Ahmed Taha, Professor of Law, on receiving Pepperdine University Faculty Awards. 

Ed-larsonEd Larson won the Stephen D. Davis Award for Scholarly Achievement

This award will honor the contributions of Pepperdine faculty members who are strengthening our scholarly contributions, and elevating our research reputation. Examples of such accomplishment include research publications of high impact, scholarly books, major musical and artistic products/exhibitions, mentoring of Pepperdine students resulting in scholarly accomplishment, receiving national or international award or recognition for work directly related to their scholarship, and leadership in securing major research grants from external agencies.

Ed Larson
Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History and numerous other awards for writing and teaching, Larson is the author or co-author of fourteen books and over one hundred published articles. His 2015 book, The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789, was a New York Times Bestseller and resulted in Larson being invited to deliver the 2016 Supreme Court Historical Society lecture in Washington, give the annual Gaines Lecture at Mount Vernon, and serve as a featured presenter for the Library of Congress's Madison Council event. His other books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, include An Empire of Ice: Scott Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science; A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign; and the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Larson's articles have appeared in such varied publications as Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Science, Scientific American, Time, Wall Street Journal, American History, The Guardian, and dozens of law reviews. His latest book, American Inheritance, was published by W.W. Norton in 2023.

Tom Stipanowich and Ahmed Taha won the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence

The Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding teachers who embody Pepperdine University's commitment to excellence. The award honors teachers who inspire, stimulate, challenge, and motivate their students; teachers who develop in students the ability to think critically and creatively about the world; teachers who instill in their students a lifelong love of learning.

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November 11, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Alarie Presents The Impact Of AI On Legal Education And Law Practice At Pepperdine

Benjamin Alarie (Toronto; Google Scholar) presents The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better (with Abdi Aidid (Toronto)) at Pepperdine today as part of its Dean's Speaker Series: 

Legal singularityLaw today is incomplete, inaccessible, unclear, underdeveloped, and often perplexing to those whom it affects. In The Legal Singularity, Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie argue that the proliferation of artificial intelligence–enabled technology — and specifically the advent of legal prediction — is on the verge of radically reconfiguring the law, our institutions, and our society for the better.

Revealing the ways in which our legal institutions underperform and are expensive to administer, the book highlights the negative social consequences associated with our legal status quo. Given the infirmities of the current state of the law and our legal institutions, the silver lining is that there is ample room for improvement. With concerted action, technology can help us to ameliorate the problems of the law and improve our legal institutions. Inspired in part by the concept of the "technological singularity," The Legal Singularity presents a future state in which technology facilitates the functional "completeness" of law, where the law is at once extraordinarily more complex in its specification than it is today, and yet operationally, the law is vastly more knowable, fairer, and clearer for its subjects. Aidid and Alarie describe the changes that will culminate in the legal singularity and explore the implications for the law and its institutions.

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November 9, 2023 in Colloquia, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, October 14, 2023

3rd Annual Pepperdine Caruso Law Tennis Tournament

Tennis 1

We held our third annual Pepperdine Caruso Law doubles tennis tournament for faculty, staff, and students yesterday on a beautiful  Malibu afternoon. Twelve teams participated, and I am pleased to report that my partner 3L Cassandra McKenzie and I won the A flight. Teams were chosen in a random draw by tournament director (and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs) Jason Jarvis. In an odd coincidence, Cassandra played on the St. Louis University women's tennis team and earned First Team Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors. In another odd coincidence, last year's winning team of Dzina Milovanovic, Recruitment and Admissions Manager at our Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (and former member of the Pepperdine University women's tennis team) and Danny DeWalt, University Vice President and Chief of Staff, were both out of the country (as were Cameron McCollum, Assistant Dean of our Global Justice Institute, and Sukhsimranjit Singh, Danny Weinstein Managing Director of the Straus Institute)).

October 14, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law Professor Teaches 1L Contracts Class Remotely From Israel During War

Surf Report, Pepperdine Caruso Law Professor Teaches 1L Contracts Class Remotely From Israel During War:

Helfand (Book)Michael A. Helfand, Brenden Mann Foundation Chair in Law and Religion, taught his first-year contracts class remotely on Monday from Israel following the declaration of war. As is his custom, Professor Helfand traveled to Israel with his family to observe the High Holy Days. Professor Helfand and his family will be returning to the United States as soon as they can.

Professor Helfand’s contracts student Ari Steinberg commented, “Any person who visits Israel, violence erupting is always a thought in the back of your mind, but you never imagine it to become reality while you are there. Despite Professor Helfand watching this becoming reality in front of him, and everything he might have been feeling and going through with his family, he still took the time out of his day, or the middle of the night I should say, to make sure our class was still learning the material. I can say without a doubt that I've never had a teacher show me that they cared about my learning more than in that moment. In the middle of a war, Professor Helfand showed our class how important it was to him that we don't miss a beat. He showed us his level of commitment to our learning, and this has made me want to match that level of commitment to our learning environment. To act like it's all just fine for that hour and a half, was honestly inspirational. As a Jewish student, to know that I have a Jewish professor, like Professor Helfand, committing himself to my studies, makes me feel proud to be part of the Jewish community here at Pepperdine. Our class has been thinking of and praying for Professor Helfand and his family’s safe return home.”

Dean Paul Caron said, “Our Pepperdine Caruso Law community is praying for Michael and his family, all of our Jewish faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the country and people of Israel, and all people in the region during this horrific time. We are heartbroken by the devastating suffering and loss of innocent lives.”

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October 11, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, October 8, 2023

College Kids Are 'Hungry' For Christianity On Campus, Pepperdine Leader Says

Fox News, College kids Are 'Hungry' For Christianity on Campus, Pepperdine Leader Says: 'Central' to School Life:

Pepperdine Spiritual LifeAn associate vice president at a Christian university told Fox News Digital that he believes college students today are hungry for a robust spiritual life — and it is up to schools to ensure that their needs are being met.

"For a lot of students that come to college and really struggle spiritually, we want to do everything we can to make sure that this is a place where they find their faith, if they're open to it, or maybe return to the faith, if they've kind of strayed from it," Tim Spivey told Fox News Digital in a phone interview.

Spivey is the assistant vice president of spiritual life at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles County, California.

Alternatively, students who are already Christians can use college "to build a stronger, more vibrant faith," he said.

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October 8, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Parable Of The Prodigal Son: Justice, Mercy, And Humility

Bible Study 1 (092723)

I spoke at last Wednesday night's Bible study and dinner that my wife and I host for students, staff, and faculty. I talked about two of my favorite passages in Scripture: Micah 6:8 ("[W]hat does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.") and the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

I used the three characters in the parable to illustrate God's view of justice, mercy, and humility. The younger (“bad”) son broke the rules and was humbled by hitting rock bottom, before returning home and receiving his father’s mercy and love. The older (“good”) son kept all of the rules and was humbled by realizing that did not make him any more deserving of his father’s love than his brother. To me, the main character in the parable is the father, who represents both our earthly fathers and our Father in heaven. All earthly fathers and mothers fall well short of being the parents their children deserve, just as all sons and daughters fall short in living out the fifth commandment ("Honor your father and mother"). 

I ended my message by talking about the sudden death of my 82-year old father in 2007. I am so grateful that, a few years earlier, I had taken separate trips to JH Ranch in northern California with my son and daughter when they were 13 years old for a week-long program (video) to help prepare them for adulthood. I got as much or more out of the program as they did. During each of the weeks, the ranch gathered the Dads and had us write letters to our fathers, apologizing for the mistakes we had made growing up and thanking them for all they had done for us. It means the world to me that after my father's death, I learned he had kept the two letters I wrote to him near his favorite chair in the living room.

I closed my remarks by offering everyone pens, stationery, stamped envelopes, and clipboards so they could write letters to their fathers or mothers. I was thrilled when they all took me up on the offer:

Bible Study 2 (092723)

It was a treat the next morning to mail the letters to parents around the country:

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October 1, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Speech By Princeton's Robby George About Free Speech Is Shouted Down At Washington College

Chronicle of Higher Education, A Professor Spoke About ‘Campus Illiberalism.’ Students Shouted Him Down Over His Anti-LGBTQ Views.:

Robert George 2This month, Robert P. George gave a campus talk about what he sees as a growing intolerance of certain viewpoints in higher ed.

“At some colleges and universities, speaking invitations to dissenters from campus orthodoxies are not issued,” the Princeton University professor wrote in prepared remarks he shared with The Chronicle. Those who are invited can be disinvited or pressured to withdraw, he wrote. Or “they are interrupted” or “shouted down.”

Some students who disagreed with George’s views on LGBTQ rights and abortion disrupted the speech. The event — at Washington College, a small liberal-arts institution in Maryland — ended early.

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October 1, 2023 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, September 10, 2023

2023 Religious Law School Rankings

Most Devout Law Schools Photo + RankingThe Most Devout Law Schools, preLaw (Winter 2023):

Religion has long played a significant role at many of the nation’s law schools. Here we highlight the top 20. ...

While 46 of the nation’s 200 law schools have ties to religious organizations, there is a big difference between them when it comes to acting on that faith.

While the 28 law schools associated with the Catholic religion stay true to a mission of serving the public good and educating the whole person, many provide few, if any, services or curriculum related to faith. And at many of those schools, few students ever talk of faith.

That’s not the case with the schools on our list.

To determine the top 20, we gathered information from the schools and from other sources. We looked at the percentage of students and faculty who belong to the faith; the 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 the mission of the law school.

This year, for the first time, we present the schools in one ranking, as opposed to best schools by denomination. Liberty University School of Law, a Baptist university in Lynchburg, Virginia, is No. 1. ... Regent Law practically tied for No. 1 on our list. ...

“The relationship between law and faith affects both what we do and how we do it,” [Regent Dean Brad] Lingo said. “While others might tell students that lawyers are sharks, we teach that lawyers can be healers of conflict. We teach that law, at its best, provides opportunities to walk with someone during what might be one of the darkest, scariest, loneliest times of their lives.” 

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September 10, 2023 in Faith, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Girgis Presents Fragility Not Superiority? Assessing The Fairness Of Special Religious Protections At Pepperdine

Sherif Girgis (Notre Dame) presented Fragility Not Superiority? Assessing the Fairness of Special Religious Protections, 171 U. Pa. L. Rev. 147 (2022), at Pepperdine last Thursday as part of our Nootbaar Institute For Law, Religion, and Ethics’ Law, Faith and Religion Colloquium Series sponsored by the Brenden Mann Foundation and hosted by Michael Helfand and Jennifer Koh:

Girgis (2023)Is it fair to grant exemptions from neutral laws to protect religion but not other deep commitments and pursuits, like secular conscience or care-giving bonds? The thirty-year scholarly debate on this question now has legal import, as the Supreme Court stands poised to reverse precedent and restore free exercise exemptions from neutral laws. Whether it should, under stare decisis, turns partly on moral considerations like the fairness issue. And the fairness debate is worth revisiting. Almost everyone has assumed that special religious protections are fair only if religion matters more than other interests. Yet protections for religion might be warranted not because religion is more important, but because it is more needful of protection.

To see if these special protections are indeed fair and necessary, this Article develops a measure of need, based on how all civil liberties work in our system. Our doctrines on speech, abortion (for decades), gun rights, and travel have imposed heightened scrutiny on laws that deny us one means of exercising a liberty without leaving adequate alternatives—i.e., other ways to realize the interests served by that liberty to the same degree and at no greater cost. Thus, an interest will have greater need for this protection, the more that laws burdening some means to it will leave no adequate alternative means—or the more “fragile” the interest is. And even if an interest is fragile (because burdens on it are often too heavy), it will not need protection if it rarely faces burdens, heavy or not—if it is not “exposed.” These two concepts create a framework for assessing all our liberties and limiting their scope.

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September 3, 2023 in Colloquia, Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Scholarship | Permalink

Sunday, August 20, 2023

First Hurricane/Tropical Storm In 84 Years + Earthquake Rock Malibu

Monday, August 14, 2023

Welcome, Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class Of 2026

Launch Week Slide

Welcome to the members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class of 2026 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.

We are thrilled that we exceeded our enrollment target of 175 and enrolled a class with the highest credentials in the 55-year history of our law school. 

This is my seventh 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.

August 14, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training, preLaw (Spring 2023):

You may have heard the phrase “Learn by doing.”

Aristotle highlighted this idea when he said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

It’s a theory that speaks to the lovers of hands-on learning and posits that students must interact with their environment to learn best. For many law schools, this theory becomes reality through clinics, externships and simulation courses — or what is commonly known as practical training.

Best schools for 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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August 10, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Bar Exam Lunches

Update: Pepperdine Caruso Law Bar Lunch Program Serves the Class of 2023 Across the Country

One of my favorite Pepperdine Caruso Law traditions is our Bar Exam Lunch Program. We provide lunches for our graduates taking the bar exam, not only in California but throughout the country. Bar takers have enough to worry about without having to navigate getting lunch in the short period between the morning and afternoon sessions. So we provide not only food but a space to relax and unwind with friends before going back into the fray. This year, we have a record 25 faculty, staff, and alumni distributing lunches at 21 locations, thanks to the generosity of 85 donors.

Bar Lunch

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July 26, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Praying For The Bar Exam

On Friday, I participated in one of my favorite traditions at Pepperdine Caruso Law: a virtual prayer session with our graduates taking the bar exam this week:

Bar Exam Prayer

Faculty and staff encourage our graduates to finish strong and remind them that their three years of study have prepared them well for this challenge. I have the honor of praying over them and reminding them that we prayed over each one of their applications three years ago, so this is the perfect way to close this chapter of their time with us and we look forward to welcoming them back to campus for their bar swearing in ceremony in December. We closed with this wonderful song from Numbers 6:24-26:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Update:  Lee Fisher  (Dean, Cleveland State) emailed this prayer he wrote to his graduates last Thursday (reprinted with Lee's permission): 

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July 23, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Pepperdine Law Review Submission Window: August 1-31

Pepperdine Law Review (2021)The Pepperdine Law Review is accepting article submissions from August 1st through 31st for publication in April 2024. The submission link is here. For recent Pepperdine Law Review symposia, see:

July 12, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Michael McConnell And Marcus Cole Receive Religious Liberty Awards

Becket Gala

Michael W. McConnell (Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford) and Marcus Cole (Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law, Notre Dame) were honored last month at Becket's annual gala in New York City for their work defending religious liberty.

Michael McConnell received the 2023 Canterbury Medal, religious liberty’s highest honor:

The 2023 Canterbury Medal Gala honored Professor Michael W. McConnell, Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a former federal judge, for his decades-long commitment to the cause of religious liberty. As a professor, scholar, advocate, and public servant, Professor McConnell’s career has provided a strong and unfailing defense of religious liberty for all.

In his distinguished career, Professor McConnell has played a key role in advancing the principle of religious freedom for all people. As an advocate, Professor McConnell has argued many religious liberty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts. Following his unanimous confirmation by the Senate, Professor McConnell served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2002-2009. He also played a central role in founding the first religious liberty law clinic at Stanford Law School, where he continues to teach courses on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and constitutional history.

Michael McConnell's acceptance speech (video; text).

Marcus Cole received the 2023 Legal Service Award "for his trailblazing expansion of the clinic concept in launching Notre Dame’s Religious Liberty Initiative." Marcus Cole's acceptance speech (text).

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June 25, 2023 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Pepperdine Resiliency Program Equips Students To Address Life's Challenges And Creates A Campus Culture That Values Well-Being

Pepperdine Rise

Inside Higher Ed, Resilience Skills Curriculum Gets Ahead of Student Crisis:

A resiliency skills program at Pepperdine University equips students with tools to address challenges in their lives and create a campus culture that values well-being.

The Resilience Informed Skills Education (RISE) program at Pepperdine University integrates education around resiliency in student life and provides learners with life skills to get ahead of crisis and mitigate distress.

The curriculum, developed by Connie Horton, vice president for student affairs, draws on research to provide six dimensions of resilience. Students first encounter RISE programming in their first term through a credit-based small group, but the program is woven throughout academics, residence life and social programming.

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June 15, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

U.S. News Law School Rankings Panel At Today's AALS Institutional Advancement Conference

AALS

I am moderating the final panel today at the first-ever AALS Institutional Advancement Conference: Making a Difference in a Changing World (registration):

U.S. News Law Rankings (4:30 PM ET)
It’s a whole new world with changes to the US News Law Rankings. Or is it? We’ll hear from those who are covering the U.S. News changes and are grappling with what it all means for law schools.

Moderator:  Paul L. Caron, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law, Pepperdine University, Caruso School of Law

Speakers:

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June 15, 2023 in Law School Rankings, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates The Class Of 2023

Friday, June 9, 2023

One Week Later . . .

Paul at Beach (2013)

It is exactly one week ago to the hour that we put down our beloved sweet dog Josie. I am astonished by how much I miss her. She had been a daily presence in our lives during our entire time at Pepperdine (10 1/2 years). My days would begin with her bounding out of our bed and end with her jumping into our bed as we settled down for the night. In between, she was a full participant in our hectic lives — joining me for early morning tennis at Pepperdine and cardio and weight training in our bedroom, and later for walks in our neighborhood, dinners at our home with students, and beach outings. But my favorite time was the countless hours she slept at my feet while I worked in our dining room — it was so comforting to have her nearby.

I choose to remember the Josie in the photo below, racing toward the setting sun, brimming with excitement at what awaits her, confident that her "binky ball" will magically appear, at just the right spot and bouncing at just the right height for her to jump and catch it in her mouth, so she can trot back to me proud of her accomplishment and drop the binky ball at my feet so I can toss it again and again and again. The difference now is that Josie kept racing toward the setting sun, still brimming with excitement at what awaited her. I take comfort in C.S. Lewis's theology about dogs and heaven, and hope that when my time comes to race toward the setting sun, I will find Josie awaiting me, with a shiny new binky ball at her feet, ready to resume the chase again and again and again.

Beach (2016)

June 9, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Open Conversations At Pepperdine Caruso Law School: Building Culture, Developing Discourse, Nurturing Democracy

Jeffrey R. Baker (Pepperdine; Google Scholar) & Tanya Asim Cooper (Pepperdine; Google Scholar), Open Conversations: Building Culture, Developing Discourse, Nurturing Democracy:

Caruso Logo (Two Lines) (Tight) (2020)[A]t our first Open Conversation, ... [o]ver fifty students attended, and we set out some simple guidance. This was not a teaching moment for the faculty, and it was not a debate. It was a conversation, discourse to share perspectives, an opportunity to speak and listen, to engage across difference, to give voice to pain and anger, to explore paths forward, all from the students’ perspectives and experiences. With general prompts and light moderation while breaking bread together, the conversation was rich, critical, vibrant, heartfelt, and serious. It did not fix all of the issues or resolve all the tension within our school, but it was a moment of genuine community struggling with itself but refusing to alienate each other. 

After that first Open Conversation, we continued to offer them when controversies erupted nationally or locally, refining the approach. ... The broad objective for Open Conversations is to build a healthy culture within our law school community. It is not to resolve every issue or to engage in antagonistic debate; there are plenty of other opportunities for that during law school. Rather, it is to enrich our discourse with care, respect, and dignity, even over the most contentious issues. Moderation and centrism are also not the aims; students advocate and argue in Open Conversations with conviction but within a framework that aims to hold our shared life at the heart of our discussions. In our current national season of extreme polarization, brutal partisanship, personal antagonism, and so-called “cancel culture” (all of which have been topics of our discussions), the Open Conversations are counter-cultural exercises in democratic engagement. 

To these ends, we developed a practice of lightly-moderated discussions over lunch around curated topics with important ground rules for the conversation. We typically have fifty to sixty students and another ten staff and faculty in the room. The ground rules are “conversational harnesses” to preserve the objectives of discourse and engagement, and we share them at the top of each open conversation:

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June 7, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Josie Shands Caron (2007-2023)

UpdateOne Week Later . . .

We put down our beloved dog Josie on Friday and are filled with grief and gratitude. Grief because our home and our lives are emptier now without her. Gratitude because she was everything one could want in a dog.

Josie joined our family in November 2009 when we were living in Cincinnati. We had put down our dog Sandy in 2006, and I had issued a decree: no more dogs. Because our son Reed and daughter Jayne would be leaving for college in August 2009 and August 2010, respectively, my wife Courtney and I did not want to be saddled with a dog in our empty nest years. Jayne took the news particularly hard, as she has a special love for dogs.

In early November 2009, the senior pastor of our church gave a wonderful message on the importance of celebrating important milestones in our lives. He talked about how he was trying to make his high school senior's last year at home special by taking his son on a long road trip on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. After watching a hokey Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, A Dog Named Christmas, in which a family provides a foster home over Christmas for a dog from a local shelter, I thought that would be a great thing to do for Jayne before she left for college. Following up on the movie, animal shelters nationwide were sponsoring a Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Promotion, and I found a wonderful participating local shelter. I told Jayne we wanted to make this last Christmas at home a memorable one for her by fostering a dog over the holidays. I made her sign a contract promising that the dog would go back to the shelter on December 26 — no exceptions, and no fuss.

Jayne chose the dog, and we opened our home (and our hearts) to Josie, a mutt mix of Pit Bull, Chow, and German Shepherd. After Josie's first days in our home, Courtney and I decided we would tell Jayne on Christmas morning that we were adopting Josie. We also decided to keep the foster ruse going by dropping Josie off at the shelter on Saturdays so they could bring her to adoption fairs at a local PetSmart. Jayne prayed in the car that Josie would not be adopted, but I said we had to think of Josie's best interests and hope that a wonderful family would adopt her. I worked things out so the shelter would not bring Josie to the adoption fair, and Jayne and I would return three hours later to take Josie home (to Jayne's great relief). It was a very special Christmas, as Jayne cried with delight when she opened the last present under the tree: Josie's adoption papers.

Josie 1

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June 4, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (6)

Monday, May 29, 2023

17 Universities And Law Schools Have Full Satellite Campuses In Washington, D.C.

Inside Higher Ed, A Growing Corps of ‘Capital Campuses’:

Satellite campuses are proliferating and expanding in Washington, D.C. Not only do they enhance the student experience, but they also give institutions access to policy makers and grant-writing organizations. ...

Over 40 U.S. colleges and universities have a physical presence in the nation’s capital, ranging from Johns Hopkins University [555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW]—which lies just an hour north in Baltimore—to Pepperdine University [2011 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW], a small Christian institution across the continent in Malibu, Calif.

According to the D.C.-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, 17 of those institutions have full satellite campuses in D.C., complete with classrooms and dorms as well as office space and conference rooms for meetings with policy makers and researchers. In total, nonlocal colleges and universities own about a million square feet of real estate in the city, a little more than one-third of the total aboveground exhibit space occupied by the Smithsonian museums.

Much of this real estate is used to house or provide meeting spaces for student interns, who flock to the city in droves every semester to gain experience in politics, policy making, research and journalism. But higher ed leaders told Inside Higher Ed that they are increasingly looking to establish or fortify bases for developing relationships with policy makers and grant-writing government offices. ...

Students see major benefits of their institutions establishing satellite campuses in D.C.—especially if they include residential space. For some, living and studying in a community of their peers in D.C. is just as important as getting an internship on Capitol Hill or at a federal agency. ...

Mary Caulfield just finished a “semester abroad” at Pepperdine’s D.C. center, an eight-story building with both residential and class space located on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House. She had an internship at a magazine but said that having housing resources, night classes and community in one place helped make her experience more comfortable and kept her tied to her institution on the other side of the country.

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May 29, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Pepperdine’s Place In The 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US News (2023)By now most of you have seen the news that Pepperdine Caruso Law ranks #45 in the 2024 U.S. News Law School Rankings. This is the highest ranking in our 54-year history, topping the previous highest rankings in 2021-22 (#46) and 2020-21 (#47). I am pleased that we also received the highest ranking in our history in several components of the rankings, including academic peer reputation and student selectivity (median LSAT scores, median undergraduate GPAs).

We did not join the U.S. News boycott for many of the reasons Georgia Dean Bo Rutledge outlined in the Chronicle of Higher Education. We do not chase rankings at Pepperdine Caruso Law. Instead, we are laser-focused on our strategic priorities, including recruiting a student body each year with stronger academic credentials, a deeper commitment to our Christian mission, and a richer diversity of personal backgrounds, lived experiences, and viewpoints; and preparing them in a one of a kind close knit community to pass the bar exam and secure full-credit legal employment at higher rates. Those priorities produce a rankings benefit as well, and we gladly reap those results. The new methodology adopted by U.S. News in response to the boycott is still far from perfect, but is much better than prior methodologies.

Pepperdine Caruso Law also was recognized by U.S. News with Top 50 rankings in three specialty programs based on our reputation among faculty in those fields:  #2 in dispute resolution, #29 in tax law, and #34 in clinical training, as well as near Top 50 rankings in constitution law (#53), international law (#53), and business|corporate law (#54).

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 Caruso's $50 million naming gift.

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May 11, 2023 in Law School, Law School Rankings, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law's New Religious Clinic Engages Its First Direct Representation Of Clients: Two New Jersey Churches Denied County Historic Preservation Funds

Pepperdine Caruso Law's new religious liberty clinic has engaged its first direct representation of clients

ComplaintPepperdine Caruso Law’s Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Religious Liberty Clinic, in collaboration with the First Liberty Institute and Jones Day, has filed a federal lawsuit against Morris County, New Jersey on behalf of The Mendham Methodist Church and The Zion Lutheran Church Long Valley in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The suit challenges Morris County’s policy of excluding houses of worship from the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund, which grants public funds to organizations and entities whose purposes include historic preservation. Past grant recipients have included a local theater, a Masonic lodge, and a restaurant. Meanwhile, two centuries-old churches with a longstanding community presence are excluded from the historic preservation program simply for being faith-based institutions.

“This case is important because we are not asking that churches get anything beyond what any other organizations would receive –– we just ask that churches with substantial interests in historical preservation be considered equally for the same generally available funds that non-religious organizations receive,” said Tiereney Souza, a second-year law student at Pepperdine Caruso Law who helped write the complaint.

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April 30, 2023 in Faith, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law 3L Commissioning Service

3L Commissioning Program (Front & Back)

We hosted our 12th 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.

I was honored to give a gift to our 3Ls to encourage them to live the lives that God has called them to after they graduate: a paperweight to keep on their desks to remind them (on the top) of their time at Pepperdine Caruso Law and (on the bottom) a single word — the most powerful word that Jesus talked about and modeled for us — forgiveness. I shared several of the forgiveness stories I have chronicled on this blog, including this, this, this, this, and this.

CSOL Commissioing Service Forgiveness Paperweight (042022)

The highlight of the evening was when our faculty spoke words of life over each of the graduating 3Ls (kudos to Tyler Clark (JD '12) for beginning this wonderful tradition):

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April 23, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Pepperdine Receives $1.5 Million Templeton Religion Trust Grant For ‘Covenantal Pluralism Project’

Pepperdine University Receives $1.5 Million Templeton Religion Trust Grant for ‘Covenantal Pluralism Project’:

ThamesPepperdine University has received a grant of $1,531,920 from the Templeton Religion Trust (TRT) to launch the “Covenantal Pluralism Project: Promoting Covenantal Pluralism Through Heritage, Coalitions, and Advocacy.”

As a grantee of TRT, Knox Thames will join Pepperdine University as a senior fellow with the Caruso School of Law and the School of Public Policy. After 20 years of government service in various diplomatic roles, Thames will direct the Program on Global Faith and Inclusive Societies, which will develop innovative approaches to foster an appreciation for diversity, pluralism and the rights of others. 

“Pepperdine University is delighted to add a scholar and practitioner of Knox Thames’ quality and caliber to our campus community,” said President Jim Gash. “Thames’ Covenantal Pluralism Project will develop innovative pathways and bolster current efforts for covenantal pluralism by advancing religious freedom and religious literacy through faith communities, popular culture, governments and human rights organizations. His work will contribute to the mission of Pepperdine, provide our students with cutting-edge ideas and perspectives, and enrich the congenial milieu of our university.”

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March 26, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates $50 Million Naming Gift At Annual Dinner With President George W. Bush

We had planned to celebrate our October 2019 $50 million naming gift (more here) at our 50th anniversary law school dinner in March 2020, but Covid forced several postponements. After waiting 1,082 days (!), over 1,000 members of our community gathered at the Beverly Hilton for a spectacular evening of celebration, faith, and humor.

3L Tyler Lisea opened the festivities and introduced Asha Madukar (JD '19), who sang a stirring rendition of How Great Thou Art, accompanied on the piano by her father Joel. 3L Ana Rodriguez, President of the Christian Legal Society, introduced Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who delivered a wonderful invocation. 1L Keanu Mayo led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by this video honoring Ken Starr, Dean of Pepperdine Caruso Law School from 2004-2010, who passed away on September 13, 2022:

Dinner was then served. Rick Caruso and I had the great honor of sitting next to President Bush — I am so glad the photographer captured this great photo of President Bush enjoying himself at the dinner:

Bush Caruso Caron Joke (CSOL Dinner 032223)

Following the dinner, 1L Christian Parham introduced Pepperdine President Jim Gash (JD '93), who introduced President Bush and Rick Caruso for a fascinating 45-minute wide-ranging conversati0n replete with much laughter:

Bush Caruso (CSOL Dinner 03223)

President Gash and I presented President Bush with a gift: a bomber jacket with the Pepperdine Caruso Law Seal (riffing off the iconic photo of President Bush in a bomber jacket with the Presidential Seal):

Bush Caruso Gash Caron Bomber Jacket (CSOL Dinner 032223)

President Gash delivered his remarks, emphasizing how the gift from Rick and Tina Caruso to the law school had galvanized fundraising at the university, including the acquisition and renovation of Château d'Hauteville in Switzerland and the construction of The Mountain at Mullin Park on our Malibu campus.

I delivered my remarks, emphasizing how the Caruso gift has catapulted the law school forward in many ways, including recruiting students with the the highest entering credentials (164 median LSAT & 3.85 median UGPA), and launching them into full-credit jobs at the highest rate (92%), in our history. The gift enabled us to lower the average student debt of our graduates by $58,000 and to make 100% of the student loan payments of every graduate working in the public interest. We were able to recruit four outstanding tenure-track teachers and scholars who have already published in the nation's best law reviews — e.g., Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and Pennsylvania. And our average U.S. News ranking over the past four years is #49, the highest in our history.

The Caruso gift also has galvanized fundraising at the law school, including our 50 For 50 Campaign, which raised $3.5 million for student scholarships from 55 donors contributing $50,000 or more. I was pleased to be able to thank those of our thirty-two $1 million-plus donors who were in attendance at the dinner: Jeanette and Michael (JD '74) Bidart, Tina and Rick (JD '83) Caruso, Anna and Thomas Fessler (JD '83), Michelle (JD '89) and Mark ('88) Hiepler, Janet Kerr (JD '78), Rick Stack on behalf of the Hugh & Hazel Darling Foundation, and Judge Danny Weinstein

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March 25, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

ChatGPT Thinks I Am Way More Interesting Than I Am

Open AI ChatGPTWrite a bio of Pepperdine Caruso Law School Dean Paul Caron

Paul Caron is an American legal scholar and academic administrator who currently serves as the Dean of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. He was born in the United States and grew up in the Chicago area.

Caron graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. He then went on to earn a law degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

After law school, Caron worked as an attorney in the tax department of the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. He later joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he taught courses in tax law and served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

In 2003, Caron joined the faculty of the University of San Diego School of Law, where he held the rank of Professor of Law and served as the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development. During his time at USD, Caron became well-known for his scholarship in tax law and his popular TaxProf Blog, which he founded in 2004.

In 2017, Caron was appointed as the 7th Dean of the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. In this role, he has overseen significant changes at the law school, including the construction of a new campus in downtown Los Angeles and the creation of new programs in areas such as dispute resolution and entertainment, media, and sports law.

Throughout his career, Caron has been a prolific scholar and writer, with more than 50 published articles and book chapters to his credit. He is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of tax law, and has been frequently cited in the national media on issues related to tax policy and reform.

Caron has also been active in the legal community, serving on the board of directors of the American Tax Policy Institute and as a member of the executive committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. He has received numerous awards and honors for his scholarship and teaching, including the University of Cincinnati College of Law's Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the American Bar Association's Section of Taxation Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to his academic and professional accomplishments, Caron is also an accomplished musician and photographer. He has released several albums of original music and his photographs have been featured in exhibitions and publications around the world.

Can you guess the number of factual errors?

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March 22, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Paul Caron, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Law Clerk Selection And Diversity: Insights From Fifty U.S. Court Of Appeals Judges

Jeremy Fogel (Berkeley Judicial Institute), Mary Hoopes (Pepperdine) & Goodwin Liu (California Supreme Court), Law Clerk Selection and Diversity: Insights From Fifty Sitting Judges of the Federal Courts of Appeals, 137 Harv. L. Rev. ___ (2023):

Harvard Law ReviewJudicial clerkships are key positions of responsibility and coveted opportunities for career advancement. Commentators have noted that the demographics of law clerks do not align with the student population by law school, socioeconomic background, gender, race, or ethnicity, and that ideological matching is prevalent between judges and their clerks. But extant studies draw on limited data and offer little visibility into how judges actually select clerks. For this study, we conducted in-depth individual interviews with fifty active judges of the federal courts of appeals to learn how they approach law clerk selection and diversity. Our sample, though not fully representative of the judiciary, includes judges from all circuits, appointed by Presidents of both parties, with average tenure of fourteen years. The confidential interviews, which drew in part upon the peer relationship that two of us have with fellow judges, yielded rich and candid insights not captured by prior surveys.

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February 22, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A Glimpse Into Faith At Pepperdine Caruso Law: Dean’s Bible Study

Bible Study

The Graphic, A Glimpse Into Faith at Caruso Law: Dean’s Bible Study:

The Dean’s Bible Study offers Caruso School of Law students a time to worship and opens a space to share faith with one another. Attendees of the the two-hour Dean’s Bible Study service gather in community, listen to sermons and pray.

The Dean’s Bible Study offers Caruso School of Law students a time to worship and opens a space to share faith with one another. Attendees of the the two-hour Dean’s Bible Study service gather in community, listen to sermons and pray. “My first year it [the Bible study] was such a cornerstone for me; it was a nonnegotiable time,” Heuermann said.

The Dean’s Bible Study occurs every Wednesday of the academic year and is open to all Pepperdine students, Caron said. With a new guest speaker each week, students can worship in community and connect with God.

The Dean’s Bible Study has been a longstanding tradition at Caruso for 43 years, according to Caruso’s website. With the myriad of academic and mental challenges of attending law school, having a faith community for sharing and support can make those challenges more manageable, Heuermann said. ...

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February 19, 2023 in Faith, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink