Paul L. Caron
Dean





Tuesday, May 14, 2024

University Of North Carolina Tax Profs Receive Awards For Teaching And Scholarship

Unc faculty awards
Kathleen Thomas
and Leigh Osofsky received awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship from the University of North Carolina School of Law:

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May 14, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Tax Profs, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, April 29, 2024

Jeff Kwall Named Professor Of The Year At Loyola-Chicago Law School

From Tax Prof Jeffrey Kwall, Kathleen and Bernard Beazley Research Professor of Law at Loyola-Chicago:

KwallI am happy to report that, for the 3rd time in the past 9 years, I was elected Professor of the Year by the graduating class at Loyola Law School. I am so fortunate to be in a position to teach such wonderful students and happy that they feel they have benefited from their time in my classroom.

Faculty Bio:

Jeffrey L. Kwall is the Kathleen and Bernard Beazley Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has been a leading force in developing Loyola's innovative and expansive tax law curriculum, tax certificate program, and accelerated LLM in Taxation program.

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April 29, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Most Important Thing I Teach My Students Isn’t On The Syllabus: Humility

Following up on my previous posts (link below):  New York Times Op-Ed:  The Most Important Thing I Teach My Students Isn’t on the Syllabus, by Frank Bruni:

I warn my students. At the start of every semester, on the first day of every course, I confess to certain passions and quirks and tell them to be ready: I’m a stickler for correct grammar, spelling and the like, so if they don’t have it in them to care about and patrol for such errors, they probably won’t end up with the grade they’re after. I want to hear everyone’s voice — I tell them that, too — but I don’t want to hear anybody’s voice so often and so loudly that the other voices don’t have a chance.

And I’m going to repeat one phrase more often than any other: “It’s complicated.” They’ll become familiar with that. They may even become bored with it. I’ll sometimes say it when we’re discussing the roots and branches of a social ill, the motivations of public (and private) actors and a whole lot else, and that’s because I’m standing before them not as an ambassador of certainty or a font of unassailable verities but as an emissary of doubt. I want to give them intelligent questions, not final answers. I want to teach them how much they have to learn — and how much they will always have to learn.

I’d been on the faculty of Duke University and delivering that spiel for more than two years before I realized that each component of it was about the same quality: humility.

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April 23, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, April 22, 2024

Tax Executives Institute Student Case Competition

Tax executive instituteThe deadline to apply for the TEI - International Tax Case Competition is May 1, 2024 (application): 

TEI supports students in developing a passion for taxation with our annual International Tax Case Competition. With a prize of CAD$2,000, the competition will bring together mentors from the TEI membership and judges from IFA Canada for an exciting day of studying and collaboration in beautiful Montreal, Canada. Applicants must be students at the time of application.

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April 22, 2024 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Teaching Evaluations Are Broken. Can They Be Fixed?

Chronicle of Higher Education, Teaching Evaluations Are Broken. Can They Be Fixed?:

Rate My Professors 2Superficial assessments hurt professors and students, but reform is hard.

When Phoebe Young began working at the University of Colorado at Boulder as an assistant professor of history in 2009, her annual teaching reviews were fairly perfunctory. Everyone knew, she says, that student course evaluations were essentially popularity contests. But they were also the only measure used to determine merit raises. You got more money if you were above the average, and less money if you were below it. Professors would often strategize on how to increase their scores — say, bringing in donuts while students filled out the forms.

Several of the questions were problematic, she recalls, including a “super weird” one that asked students to rate the intellectual challenge of the course. The most impenetrable professors might score the highest because that’s how some students interpreted the question. Young scored low on that question, she believes, because she always tried to make her courses accessible.

When a faculty member came up for tenure, the process was marginally better. The department would scramble to find a colleague or two to sit in on a class. The letters they wrote were all roughly the same, she recalls. A long exegesis on the content of the class. A summary of the person’s teaching style that might boil down to, “They’re great!” (Nobody wanted to get a colleague in trouble.) And a comment or two along the lines of, “Maybe reconsider the font on those PowerPoint presentations.”

“Everybody’s like, ‘Well, whatever. You can’t really measure teaching anyway,’” Young says of the fatalistic view she shared with her colleagues. “And so we just do what’s required by the system.”

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March 24, 2024 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, February 26, 2024

Winners Of The 23rd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge

ABA Tax Section, Winners Of The 23rd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

ABA_Tax_ChampsJ.D. Division 

1st Place: 
Natalie Romano-Nuesch and Victor Ficarra (right)
Temple

2nd Place: 
Emmanuel Backus and Logan Wagner
West Virginia

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February 26, 2024 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, February 22, 2024

2024 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Tannenwald tax scholarshipThe Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2024 Tannenwald Writing Competition.

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate.  Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

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February 22, 2024 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, February 15, 2024

2023 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2024 Competition

The winner of the International Fiscal Association's 2023 International Tax Student Writing Competition is: 

International fiscal associationTakato Masuda (NYU), The Controversy over the Tax Treaty Compatibility of the UTPR

Faculty Sponsor: Mitchell Kane

Some commentators have argued that the UTPR would conflict with existing tax treaties. This argument now appears in the U.S. political context as well. In reality, however, a critical mass of jurisdictions other than the U.S. is firmly preparing to implement the UTPR. Apparently, criticism against UTPR was not widely accepted in the end. How could this happen? This paper examines the critical arguments against the UTPR.

In Chapter II, this paper examines the tax treaty provisions that potentially conflict with the UTPR in the following order: the business profit provision and saving clause, the PE attributable profit provision (arm’s length principle), the ownership non-discrimination clause, and the PE non-discrimination clause. The section that follows presents issues regarding applicable treaties. The last section of that chapter introduces findings from prior research that the UTPR is not a covered tax under the treaty. Chapter III discusses Japanese case law regarding the business profit provision to reinforce the arguments made in the preceding chapter. Chapter IV is the conclusion.

2024 IFA International Tax Student Writing Competition

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February 15, 2024 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | 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

Monday, December 18, 2023

2023 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Winners

Tennenwald competitionThe Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship has announced the winners of the 2023 tax writing competition:

First Prize ($5,000):
Colin Heath (NYU), Taxing “Borrow” in “Buy/Borrow/Die”
Faculty Sponsor: Daniel Hemel

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December 18, 2023 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, December 7, 2023

St. Louis Symposium: Teaching Immigration Law

Symposium, Teaching Immigration Law, St. Louis U. L.J. 473- 570 (2023): 

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December 7, 2023 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

2024 Florida Bar Tax Section Moot Court Competition

Update: the new registration deadline is December 1.

2024-Tax-Moot-Court-Competition-WEB-1Registration closes November 17 for the Florida Bar Tax Section 2024 Moot Court Competition to be held at Stetson on March 7-9, 2024 (registration):

A tradition of excellence. For more than 30 years, The Florida Bar Tax Section has hosted an annual National Tax Moot Court Competition to invite law students from across the country to demonstrate their written brief and oral argument skills. Participation in the competition provides law students with excellent opportunities to sharpen their skills and to network with attorneys from across Florida.

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November 7, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Are Professors Too Soft On Grading? Survey Says 8 In 10 Give In To ‘Grade Grubbing’

University Business, Are Professors Too Soft on Grading? Survey Says 8 in 10 Give in to ‘Grade Grubbing’:

GradesA hallmark of students’ learning experience is their ability to approach and engage their professor outside of the classroom to pick their brain in a less formal setting. Unfortunately, student-professor dialogue isn’t always that rosy.

A new report by Intelligent has discovered that over 80% of high school teachers and college professors have given in to students’ demands for a higher grade than they’ve earned, a phenomenon known as “grade grubbing.”

The top reasons educators obliged were that they believed the student deserved a second chance (73%) and that they “felt bad” for the student (33%). Another 19% feared retribution for not changing students’ grades. ...

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September 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, September 7, 2023

ABA Tax Section Releases 23rd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge Problem

The ABA Tax Section has released the J.D. Problem (rules) and LL.M. Problem (rules) for the 23rd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

1693593913912An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the LSTC is organized by the Section’s Young Lawyers Forum. The LSTC asks two-person teams of students to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division and four teams from the LL.M. Division receive a free trip to the Section’s Midyear Meeting, where each team presents its submission before a panel of judges consisting of the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including tax court judges. The competition is a great way for law students to showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting and gain valuable exposure to the tax law community.

IMPORTANT DATES:

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September 7, 2023 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

AI Assistance In Legal Analysis: An Empirical Study

Jonathan H. Choi (USC; Google Scholar) & Daniel Schwarcz (Minnesota; Google Scholar), AI Assistance in Legal Analysis: An Empirical Study:

Open AI ChatGPTCan artificial intelligence (AI) augment human legal reasoning? To find out, we designed a novel experiment administering law school exams to students with and without access to GPT-4, the best-performing AI model currently available. We found that assistance from GPT-4 significantly enhanced performance on simple multiple-choice questions but not on complex essay questions. We also found that GPT-4’s impact depended heavily on the student’s starting skill level; students at the bottom of the class saw huge performance gains with AI assistance, while students at the top of the class saw performance declines. This suggests that AI may have an equalizing effect on the legal profession, mitigating inequalities between elite and nonelite lawyers. In addition, we graded exams written by GPT-4 alone to compare it with humans alone and AI-assisted humans.

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August 23, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Sarah Lawsky Provides FREE, Customizable Code And Regs Selected Sections For Any Tax Class

Tax Code And Regs

Following up on last month's post, Lawsky Website With Practice Problems And Quizzes For Federal Income Tax:  Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar) has added a new feature that allows users to download a FREE Internal Revenue Code and Regulations Selected Sections (PDF) as well as a customizable version with only the code and regs that are relevant for your class. This site works for any tax class, not just federal income tax, because it is draws from the entire  Title 26 code and a large number of the Title 26 regs.

I should note that commercially prepared selected sections will still have some advantages (for example, I wasn't able to put footers on the pages with the citation that's on that page; there may be one or two weird page breaks when you generate the PDF; and this does take a small amount of labor on your part because you have to make an Excel spreadsheet that lists out all the code and reg sections you use; etc.), so it's a matter of weighing the price and customization vs. those advantages. For what it's worth, I've been using an early version of this project to provide customized code and reg books for my students for the last year or so, and I give them the option of this book and the commercial book. Some students prefer the commercial book, some students prefer the printed, bound version of this book, (see explanation below), and some students prefer the PDF of this book on their computer—it's about a third for each.

Here are Sarah's FAQs:

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July 5, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, June 12, 2023

Lawsky Website With Practice Problems And Quizzes For Federal Income Tax

Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar) has created a wonderful website that generates practice problems and quizzes for federal income tax. For more details, see the FAQ page.

June 12, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Teaching | Permalink

Friday, June 9, 2023

Great Teachers 2023: Jennifer Bird-Pollan Guides Students Through Complicated Tax Law

University of Kentucky News, Great Teachers 2023: Jennifer Bird-Pollan Guides Students Through Complicated Tax Law:

In February, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association honored the six recipients of this year’s Great Teacher Awards. Launched in 1961, they are the longest-running UK awards that recognize teaching. Over the next six weeks, UKNow is highlighting the passionate and accomplished educators who were named a 2023 Great Teacher.

Jennifer Bird-Pollan [Google Scholar], Ph.D., associate dean in the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients. She joined the UK faculty in 2010 and is now the Judge William T. Lafferty Professor of Law. She teaches federal income tax, estate and gift tax, international tax, partnership tax, corporate tax and a seminar in tax policy.

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June 9, 2023 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Tax Profs, Teaching | Permalink

Friday, May 19, 2023

Winners Of The 22nd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge

ABA Tax Section, Winners Of The 22nd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

ABAJ.D. Division 

1st Place: 

Tracy Costanzo and Amanda Hepinger
Syracuse University College of Law

2nd Place and Best Written: 

Ivan Rudd and Isaac Fuhrman Borgman
University of Miami School of Law

3rd Place: 

Justin Sung and Judd Baguioro 
University of California College of the Law, San Francisco

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May 19, 2023 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

2022 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2023 Competition

The winner of the International Fiscal Association's 2022 International Tax Student Writing Competition is: 

International fiscal associationNeil Kelliher (Virginia), Improving Transfer Pricing Litigation by Aligning Section 482 with Litigants’ Incentives, 52 Tax Mgmt. Int’l J. __ (2023).

Faculty Sponsor: Ruth Mason

The Section 482 regulations create a comprehensive system for regulating transfer pricing. But litigation involving these regulations often leads to unsatisfactory results. This issue can be tied to the idea that the section 482 regulations are seemingly written for application by a disinterested third party, while transfer pricing litigation necessarily pits the IRS against a multinational entity. 

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May 9, 2023 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Daily, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ryznar: Exams In The Time Of ChatGPT

Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-McKinney), Exams in the Time of ChatGPT, 80 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online __ (2023):

Open AI ChatGPTThis article offers various methods to administer assessments while maintaining their integrity—after asking artificial intelligence writing tool ChatGPT for its views on the matter. The sophisticated response of the chatbot, which students can use in their written work, only raises the stakes of figuring out how to administer exams fairly.

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February 1, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Ed Tech, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Case Against Commercial Casebooks

W. David Ball (Santa Clara; Google Scholar) & Michelle Oberman (Santa Clara; Google Scholar), The Case Against Commercial Casebooks, 71 J. Legal Educ. __ (2023):

CasebooksOpen-source, online casebooks are a free alternative to the for-profit commercial casebooks that dominate the legal academy. They offer a host of benefits for students and professors alike. Online casebooks are surprisingly easy to create: literally the click of a button allows you to “clone” existing open-source casebooks, many of which closely track the cases and flow of the most popular commercial casebooks. Once “cloned,” it is simple to incorporate your own or others’ material, enabling professors to center their personal pedagogical goals and values as they train the next generation of lawyers.

Open-source casebooks are also free, permitting professors to meaningfully offset some of the educational costs incurred by our students. As law schools reflect on how they might build institutions that are more diverse, equitable and inclusive, open-source casebooks stand out as an obvious, attainable way to make meaningful progress towards those goals.

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January 31, 2023 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2023 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

TannenwaldThe Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2023 Tannenwald Writing Competition Announcement

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate.  Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

Prizes: 

  • 1st Place: $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,500

Deadline: July 10, 2023

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January 17, 2023 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Today's Pepperdine And Tax AALS Highlights

AALS TaxSection on Associate Deans for Academic Affairs and Research, LLM (Law, Learning and Motivation): Transforming Legal Education via Learning and Motivation Principles
1–1:50 pm Marriott Grand Ballroom 9, Lobby Level, North Tower

Legal education and support are often described as entrenched in traditional methods of teaching and assessing student learning. Pedagogical considerations in law school classrooms and law school support systems rarely include a focus on how learning and motivation theory, and their practical applications, can positively impact the law student experience. In this session, participants will learn how to apply learning and motivation principles in the law school, with the overall goal of maximizing student learning and engagement, including a focus on self-regulation, goal setting, self-evaluation, cognitive load, emotions, and self-efficacy.

  • Olympia Duhart (Nova) (moderator)
  • Jeffrey Baker (Pepperdine)
  • Chalak Richards (Pepperdine)
  • Deepika Sharma (USC)
  • Nickey Woods (USC)

Section on Taxation, Teaching Tax: Methods and Approaches for the Modern Student
3–4:40 pm Solana, First Floor, South Tower, Marriott

Experienced tax professors will share lessons that they have learned about teaching tax in the last few years of disruption in legal education. Topics will include utilizing technology, incorporating insights from practitioners, and covering issues of racial justice.

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January 4, 2023 in Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed, Tax, Tax Conferences, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

2022 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Winners

Tannenwald (2016)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship has announced the winners of the 2022 tax writing competition:

First Prize ($5,000):
Danny Hirsch (Yale), The CIC Two-Step and the Future of Litigation Against the IRS
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Graetz

Second Prize ($2,500):
Alexander Stephenson (Northwestern), Stacking the Chips: Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion
Faculty Sponsor: David Cameron

Third Prize ($1,500):
Likhitha Butchireddygari (Columbia), Eliminating the Tax Benefit from Investing in Police Brutality Bonds, 123 Colum. L. Rev. __ (2023)
Faculty Sponsor: Alex Raskolnikov

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December 21, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, November 28, 2022

Call For Papers: 2023 Tax Notes Student Writing Competition

Tax Notes Student Writing Competition:

Student writing competition 2023The 2023 submission period for the Tax Notes Student Writing Competition is now open! Each year we recognize superior student writing on unsettled questions in tax law or policy. Learn more about the competition guidelines:

  • Eligibility: The competition is open to any student enrolled in a law, business, or public policy program during the 2022-2023 academic year. Each student may submit only one paper. Coauthored papers will be accepted. 
  • Format: Entries should be a minimum of 2,500 words and a maximum of 12,000 words, including footnotes. Citations should be formatted as footnotes in accordance with the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Bibliographies and reference lists are prohibited. Articles should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.

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November 28, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax News, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

2022 Tax Notes Student Writing Competition Winner: The Intersection Of Tax And The Art Market

Arielle Zhivko (J.D. 2024, Osgoode Hall), Concealed Masterpieces: The Intersection of Taxation and the Art Market, 176 Tax Notes Fed. 2075 (Sept. 26, 2022) (1st Place: Tax Notes Student Writing Competition):

Tax Notes (2021)In this article, Zhivko explores how the collection of art has morphed into a highly appealing outlet for tax evasion and avoidance and examines the evolution of art-related tax reforms and their adverse effects. She also weighs the global justice aspects of taxation and subsidies against the need for access to educational and cultural materials provided by art and museums.

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October 25, 2022 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, September 15, 2022

ABA Tax Section Releases 22nd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge Problem

The ABA Tax Section has released the J.D. Problem (rules; entry form) and LL.M. Problem (rules; entry form) for the 22nd Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

LSTCAn alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge (LSTC) is organized by the Section’s Young Lawyers Form. The LSTC asks two-person teams of students to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division and four teams from the LL.M. Division receive a free trip to the Section’s Midyear Meeting, where each team presents its submission before a panel of judges consisting of the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including tax court judges. The competition is a great way for law students to showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting and gain valuable exposure to the tax law community.

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September 15, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Pichhadze: Rethinking Tax Pedagogy At Oxford

The Oxford Blue Op-Ed:  Rethinking Tax Pedagogy at Oxford, by Amir Pichhadze (Oxford; Google Scholar):

OxfordHere at Oxford, there are gaps in the university’s approach to tax pedagogy. Clearly, the university attempts to provide students with opportunities for comprehensive tax education, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This is evident from the wide array of taxation courses offered at the university’s Faculty of Law and the Saïd Business School. Yet, as I recently pointed out in my presentation at the STORIES conference (STudents’ Ongoing Research In Educational Studies), which was hosted by Oxford’s Department of Education, thus far the University has not been providing students with opportunities for experiential tax education. In my presentation, I called on the University of Oxford to rethink its approach to pedagogy by providing students with opportunities for experiential learning of taxation, such as the establishment of a university-based Tax Clinic as well as Tax Mooting. I explained that experiential learning of taxation could benefit students by providing them with valuable, feasible, and necessary additional opportunities for developing industry specific skills as well as transferable employability skills, while also giving them the opportunity to gain work experience. It could also benefit other stakeholders such as the university itself as well as members of the public.

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July 6, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How COVID-19 Made Me A Better Law Teacher

Amy Soled (Rutgers), How COVID-19 Made Me a Better Teacher, 34 The Second Draft 1 (2021):

COVID-19 has caused havoc in the world as we know it, altering every aspect of life, including education. The pandemic forced me and other educators to teach online, and by doing so, it has made me a better teacher. I now (1) employ more teaching techniques; (2) assess more frequently; and (3) engage every student. As I emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have reflected on the positive lessons I learned from teaching online, lessons that I plan to bring with me when I return to the classroom.

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June 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, June 13, 2022

Making Law Student Evaluations More Meaningful

LawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Making Student Evaluations More Meaningful:

Four years ago, I wrote a series of pieces about how student evaluations did not yield meaningful data. Worse, the data they did yield were used to disproportionately attack women and minorities. This should have come as no shock because all the evidence suggests that student evaluations are biased against women and minorities. It’s the circle of … well, something.

The literature suggests that teaching evaluations are deeply, deeply troubled measures of professor teaching skills. They ought to be done away with. But I’m not optimistic. Universities employ experts in using surveys. Yet they continue to use flawed ones. And as universities seek to measure more “stuff” regardless of the precision of those measures, student evaluations are here to stay. So, it’s worth a moment envisioning how to make them less troubling. ...

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June 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Monday, May 30, 2022

Harvard And MIT Offer Free Open-Source Law School Casebooks

H2OMIT News, “Open Casebook” Series Will Make First-Year Law School Texts More Accessible to Students Across the United States:

Together, the MIT Press and Harvard Law School Library announce the launch of the Open Casebook series. Leveraging free and open texts created and updated by distinguished legal scholars, the series offers high-quality yet affordable printed textbooks for use in law teaching across the country, tied to online access to the works and legal opinions under open licenses.

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May 30, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, May 5, 2022

2022 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Tannenwald (2013)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2022 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate. Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

Prizes:

  • 1st Place:  $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place:  $1,500

Continue reading

May 5, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

2021 IFA International Tax Student Writing Award; Call For Entrants In 2022 Competition

The winners of the International Fiscal Association's 2021 International Tax Student Writing Competition are: 

IfaMohanad Salaimi (Michigan), Corporate Inversions: Getting on the Tax Reform Train Before It Leaves the Station, 41 Va. Tax Rev. ___ (2022) (Winner, 2021 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition)
Faculty Sponsor:  Reuven Avi-Yonah

The Article brings a tax issue of utmost importance to the foreground. The Article addresses the corporate inversion phenomenon and why it occurred in the U.S. in the past decades.

The Article traces the history of inversions in the U.S. to highlight some of the critical lessons they provide. It also deals with the U.S. tax system’s response to this tax planning technique as reflected by the development of the anti-inversion rules which attempted to curb such phenomenon.

The Article puts forward that policy discussions on inversions should inform themselves with the history of this phenomenon and reasons that accounted for the U.S. MNEs’ decisions to expatriate over the last decades

Nory Dianne R. Miano (Georgetown), Debt vs. Equity Financing and Business Taxation in a Post-BEPS/Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive/Corona World, 51 BNA Tax Mgmt. Int’l J. 1 (2022)
Faculty Sponsor:  Stafford Smiley

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April 26, 2022 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Selected Negative Teaching Evaluations Of Jesus Christ

McSweeney's, Selected Negative Teaching Evaluations of Jesus Christ:

“By week one, I was already tired of his anti-rich, pro-Samaritan bullshit. I wanted to take a course in Christianity, not liberalism.” ...

“Kind of absent-minded. My name’s Simon, and he’s called me ‘Peter’ for the entire semester.” ...

“Tells too many stories. Easy to get him off track during lectures.” ...

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April 10, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Klein: Teaching Critical Tax—What, Why, And How

Diane Klein (Southern), Teaching Critical Tax: What, Why, And How, 19 U. Pitt. Tax Rev. __ (2021):

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2021)“Critical tax” is an approach to the analysis of tax law and policy that takes race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship/immigrant status, and other historically marginalized statuses into account, and does so in a way that is centrally focused on the role of tax law in creating and perpetuating persistent economic inequality and disadvantage. This descendant of Critical Legal Studies and Critical Race Theory has been around for more than twenty years. And yet, critical tax is almost entirely absent from the casebooks and syllabi used for the teaching of the core tax courses. This can and should change, and this Article is a practical guide to both why and how teachers of tax law should integrate critical tax perspectives into their courses.

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March 3, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Pandemic Pedagogy And Its Applications For International Legal Education And The Hyflex Classroom Of The Future

Colleen P. Graffy (Pepperdine; Google Scholar), Pandemic Pedagogy and Its Applications for International Legal Education and the Hyflex Classroom of the Future, 46 S. Ill. U. L.J. __ (2022):

As Academic Director of Pepperdine Caruso’s London Law Program for over twenty years, the author saw the early development of technologies linking law schools with their overseas campuses. Now back in Malibu, California, Pepperdine Caruso’s home campus, she sees the potential of Zoom generation technology and its application for study abroad programs. The pandemic and the enforced online learning resulting from it advanced not only classroom technology, but the attitudes toward it. This offers hope for better interaction between study abroad programs and their home campuses—a hope for which many in international legal education have long been waiting. This article looks at the many benefits of international legal education and the impediments to attending, which include lack of required courses, concerns about participating in law review, journals, trial team, moot court, and other co-curricular activities as well as on-campus interviews and employment concerns. 

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February 16, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Student Grade Satisfaction Drives Teaching Evaluations

Vladimir Kogan, Brandon Genetin, Joyce Chen & Alan Kalish (Ohio State), Students' Grade Satisfaction Influences Evaluations of Teaching: Evidence from Individual-level Data and an Experimental Intervention:

Student surveys are widely used to evaluate university teaching and increasingly adopted at the K-12 level, although there remains considerable debate about what they measure. Much disagreement focuses on the well-documented correlation between student grades and their evaluations of instructors. Using individual-level data from 19,000 evaluations of 700 course sections at a flagship public university, we leverage both within-course and within-student variation to rule out popular explanations for this correlation. Specifically, we show that the relationship cannot be explained by instructional quality, workload, grading stringency, or student sorting into courses. Instead, student grade satisfaction — regardless of the underlying cause of the grades — appears to be an important driver of course evaluations.

Grade

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January 27, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

St. Louis Symposium: Teaching Law Online

Symposium, Teaching Law Online, 65 St. Louis U. L.J. 455-726 (2021):

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January 25, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Cowan & Cutler: Cross-Fertilizing The Tax Classroom

Mark J. Cowan (Boise State) & Joshua Cutler (Boise State), Cross-Fertilizing the Tax Classroom, 19 U. Pitt. Tax Rev. ___ (2022):

Pittsburgh Tax Review (2021)Taxation, embedded in both the legal and accounting professions, is taught in law schools and business schools. Courses in the former develop the skills of future tax attorneys, who will engage in tax structuring, document drafting, and litigation. Courses in the latter develop the skills of future CPAs, who will engage in tax compliance. But both lawyers and CPAs do tax research, tax planning, and represent clients on audit. The skills both professionals need and the content they are taught in both schools overlap to a great extent. (Indeed, masters of taxation courses in accounting programs often use law school casebooks.) Because of the overlap, there is much that teachers in both schools can learn from one another. In this contribution, we examine ways that tax accounting teaching approaches can be used in the law school classroom and vice versa. 

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January 25, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Northwestern Hosts Zoom Panel Today On Validity And Equity Problems In Law School Teaching Evaluations

Northwestern hosts a multidisciplinary Zoom panel on Validity and Equity Problems in Law School Teaching Evaluations today at 1:00 pm ET (registration):

Northwestern (2018)Student evaluations are, as shown by study after study, not valid measures of teaching quality and are biased along the axes of gender, race, accent, age, disability, attractiveness, and other instructor attributes unrelated to teaching ability. Yet, even as many universities and colleges have begun reckoning with these established problems with teaching evaluations, and while many law schools have started tackling other barriers facing women and minorities in academia, attempts to reform evaluations have lagged behind in the legal academy. This panel brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to discuss the most recent research on teaching evaluations and how law schools should proceed given what this work shows about the issues with such evaluations.

Speakers:

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January 20, 2022 in Conferences, Legal Ed Conferences, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2022 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Tannenwald (2013)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship and American College of Tax Counsel are sponsoring the 2022 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition

Named for the late Tax Court Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., and designed to perpetuate his dedication to legal scholarship of the highest quality, the Tannenwald Writing Competition is open to all full- or part-time law school students, undergraduate or graduate. Papers on any federal or state tax-related topic may be submitted in accordance with the Competition Rules.

Prizes:

  • 1st Place:  $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place:  $1,500

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January 5, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Law Teaching Strategies For A New Era: Beyond The Physical Classroom

Tessa L. Dysart (Arizona) & Tracy Norton (Touro), Law Teaching Strategies for a New Era: Beyond the Physical Classroom (2021):

Law Teaching StrategiesThe abrupt move to online legal education in Spring 2020 accelerated the move to online legal education that has been slowing gathering steam in recent years. As more institutions consider the potential to expand their reach with online courses and programs, law professors must move past “pandemic teaching” and seriously consider how they can create and deliver quality legal education online.

Law Teaching Strategies for a New Era: Beyond the Physical Classroom, the first comprehensive book on online legal education, explores techniques, tools, and strategies that can assist all types of law professors in that endeavor. The thirty-four chapters, authored by law professors from across the country, provide a comprehensive look at expanding legal education beyond the traditional classroom experience. Divided into four sections, the book starts by offering tips for getting started and fostering inclusion in online courses.  It then moves to suggestions for course design of blended, synchronous, and asynchronous courses, including a chapter on measuring success through empirical research.

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December 9, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

2021 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Winners

Tannenwald (2016)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship has announced the winners of the 2021 tax writing competition:

First Prize ($5,000):
Mohanad Salaimi (Michigan), Corporate Inversions: Getting on the Tax Reform Train Before It Leaves the Station
Faculty Sponsor: Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Second Prize ($2,500):
Alexander Pettingell (NYU), A Machine Learning Approach to the Debt-Equity Multifactor Test
Faculty Sponsor: Mitchell Kane

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December 7, 2021 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Thursday, September 30, 2021

2021 Christopher Bergin Award For Excellence In Tax Writing

Bailey Hans (J.D. 2021, Notre Dame; LL.M. (Tax) 2022, NYU), GoFundMe: The Gift That Keeps on Giving, All Tax Season Long, 172 Tax Notes Fed. 2173 (Sept. 27, 2021):

BerginIn this article, Hans examines the tax consequences of donations made through crowdfunding platforms, focusing on the Duberstein standard and tax policy principles, and she explores ways to provide certainty to donors and donees in the absence of administrative or congressional tax guidance.

This article was entered into Tax Analysts’ annual student writing contest and received the 2021 Christopher E. Bergin Award for Excellence in Writing.

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September 30, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Manoj Viswanathan: The Professor Who Inspired Me To Love Tax

Philip Wolf (J.D. 2019, UC-Hastings; Tax Associate, Belcher, Smolen & Van Loo, San Francisco), Manoj Viswanathan: The Professor Who Inspired Me to Love Tax, 172 Tax Notes Fed. 1615 (Sept. 6, 2021):

Tax Notes Federal (2020)Out of the thousands of different professions, how does one end up choosing tax? I can tell you exactly how it happened with me. During my second semester of law school, I was permitted to take one elective class. I selected basic income taxation. Although I knew nothing about the subject, I sensed it might somehow be helpful to my goal of starting a business one day. Little could I have imagined where the class would lead me!

In our first session, in walked the ebullient yet sincere professor, Manoj Viswanathan, or as he asked us students to call him, “Professor V.” Every lecture, Professor V. emphasized how everything we’d learn in his class would be practical and relevant in the real world. Time seemed to melt away in each Tuesday and Friday lecture, and I caught myself pondering what he’d said many hours after each class. It was Professor V.’s introductory tax class that would make me decide to change my career plans and become a tax lawyer.

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September 15, 2021 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

ABA Tax Section Releases 21st Annual Law Student Tax Challenge Problem

The ABA Tax Section has released the J.D. Problem (rules; entry form) and LL.M. Problem (rules; entry form) for the 21st Annual Law Student Tax Challenge:

ABA Tax Section Law Student Tax Challenge (2021-22)An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge (LSTC) is organized by the Section’s Young Lawyers Form. The LSTC asks two-person teams of students to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division and four teams from the LL.M. Division receive a free trip to the Section’s Midyear Meeting, where each team presents its submission before a panel of judges consisting of the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including tax court judges. The competition is a great way for law students to showcase their knowledge in a real-world setting and gain valuable exposure to the tax law community.

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September 7, 2021 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Tax, Teaching | Permalink

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Lawsky: Teaching Algorithms And Algorithms For Teaching

Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar), Teaching Algorithms and Algorithms for Teaching, 24 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2021):

Florida Tax Review (2021)This Article focuses on what it calls the “algorithm method,” a common method used to teach tax classes that presents students with unambiguous problems that guide students through complex statutes and regulations. The Article describes a novel teaching tool created by the author: a website that randomly generates tax problems with objectively correct answers; multiple choice answers that reflect common errors that students make; and explanations for each answer that either respond to the underlying error or give a full explanation of the correct answer. The Article explains the purpose and use of the website for professors and students, respectively, and proposes approaches to make using the website, and indeed the algorithm method, more effective.

Introduction
Common methods of instruction in the law school classroom include the “case method” and the “problem method,” each of which requires law students to confront difficult and ambiguous problems in law. U.S. law does include many difficult and ambiguous problems. Less recognized is that some U.S. law, including the Internal Revenue Code and its accompanying regulations, is difficult not only because portions of it are ambiguous but also because it consists of complex interlocking rules. Deciphering even the unambiguous parts of these rules is both difficult and critical to the role of the lawyer.

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July 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Why I No Longer Grade Class Participation

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?, by James M. Lang (Assumption University):

I no longer grade class participation. I seem to be in the minority on that, based on my conversations with other faculty members. But I have come to believe that grading student participation is a poor pedagogical choice, and that a better alternative exists. Here I’ll explain why — and how I cultivate participation in my courses, even without hanging a grade-based incentive over my students’ heads.

What drove me away from grading student participation was an uneasy feeling — and it grew each year — that grades were not something that should be fudged based on my hunches and instincts, or influenced in any way by my informal observations and memories. In retrospect, it seems ridiculous to believe that I could accurately measure how much every student participated in all my courses during a 15-week semester.

Such a “system” is subject to every kind of bias imaginable. In addition to whatever unconscious biases I might be carrying toward students based on their identities, I might find myself looking more favorably on a student whose comments or demeanor remind me a little of myself — or unfavorably on a student who reminds me of someone I dislike.

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink

CSI: Law School. Forensic Science In Legal Education

Brandon L. Garrett (Duke), Glinda Cooper (Yeshiva) & Quinn Beckham (Duke), Forensic Science in Legal Education:

In criminal cases, forensic science reports and expert testimony play an increasingly important role in adjudication. More states now follow a federal reliability standard, following Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and Rule 702, which call upon judges to assess the reliability and validity of such scientific evidence. Little is known about what education law schools provide regarding forensic and scientific evidence, or what types of specialized training they receive on scientific methods or evidence. Whether law schools have added forensic science courses to their curricula in recent years was not known. In order to better understand the answers to those questions, in late 2019 and Spring 2020, we conducted searches to identify course offerings in forensic sciences at U.S. law schools and then surveyed their instructors, asking for syllabi and information concerning how the courses are offered, how regularly, and with what coverage.

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May 4, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Teaching | Permalink